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Christmas is right around the corner which means that millions of littles around the world will soon expect the big man in red to leave presents under their Christmas tree. Sometimes Santa has a tight budget at the North Pole and there just isn't any room in the budget for those gifts. If you're reading this post, I'd be willing to bet you can sympathize with the big man. If you are facing a Christmas where there is no money for Christmas gifts, try not to stress too much. These things to do when there is no money for Christmas gifts will give you a good start at fixing your gifting problem.
8 Things to Do When There is No Money for Christmas Gifts
What is the 4 gift rule?
To prevent going crazy for Christmas many families including ours has started the 4 gift rule. Something the want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. We switch this up, per kid my younger ones who can't read get a DVD. So we get each kid 4 gifts, that adds up with 5 kids!
Then each kid gets to go to the dollar store and buy a gift for each sibling and mom and dad. That ends up being 54 gifts under the tree each year, 55 when we add in something for the dog. Then the family, of course, sends gifts so it adds up, the kids never feel like they are missing out.
Earn free gift cards – Earn Money for Christmas
One of the quickest ways to earn money for Christmas gifts is to earn free gift cards. There are sites on the net that will pay you cash of gift cards to complete offers, surveys, tasks and more. My favorite sites for doing this are InstaGC, and Swagbucks.
When you sign up for an InstaGC account, you can be paid in free gift cards as early as the day you sign up.
Sign up for a Swagbucks account and you can get paid for searching the web like you already do! This includes searching the internet and even playing games!
I also have a list of 45+ Ways to Earn Amazon Gift Cards for Free! Many of these sites offer many cash out options, not just Amazon.
Sell Clutter to Earn Money
We all have things lying around our homes that we no longer need or want. These items can help pay for gifts when there is no money for Christmas gifts. Go through your kids' closets, your own closet, your kitchen, and garage and find items that you can sell.
You can also take this to the extreme and hit the dumpster and go dumpster diving for free items to resell, pick up items off the curbside to sell. This is a real thing, check YouTube!
Clean them up or wash them then list them for sale on Craigslist, in Facebook groups, or on apps like Offer Up or LetGo. Don't forget a good old fashion garage sale if you live in a warm area. Before you know it, you'll have the money for your gifts!
Related: How to Have a Great Yard Sale (and actually profit!)
Take a side job
If you have no money for Christmas gifts, why not take a second job or start a side job? There are quite a few ways to make extra money, many at home, that you can do part-time and still make money at.
These side jobs can not only pay for your Christmas gifts, but you never know; you may just find a new career! Many retail locations hire seasonal people for September – December with flexible hours to fill the Christmas rush.
Just be sure that you allow yourself enough time to make the money that you need so you don't feel rushed as Christmas gets closer.
Related: How to Make Money Online Reviewing Books
Toys for Tots
If you really can't raise the money for Christmas, Toys for Tots is always an option if you qualify by income. Be aware that most places start Toys for Tots sign-ups in September or October so you'll need to get in early if you know you're going to have trouble with buying gifts. Also, know that they won't buy gifts for a child under 1.
Related: Free School Supplies for Military Families
Blue Santa isn't a program that is done everywhere, but it is worth checking to see if it is in your area. This program helps low-income families get Christmas gifts by working with the local police or sheriff's departments.
It is a fantastic program and if you have no money for Christmas gifts, it could help save your Christmas day. Google “Blue Santa (your city or state)”
Other charities to check out as well
- Make A Wish
- Lions Club
- Catholic Charities Christmas Connection
- Salvation Army Angel Tree
Make homemade gifts
One of the best ways to give great Christmas gifts when there is no money is by making homemade Christmas gifts yourself! I have yet to meet someone who didn't treasure a homemade gift that had thought and time put into it. You may have to spend a few dollars for supplies, but it is far cheaper to buy supplies than it is to purchase the same gift from a store.
Another great gift is putting all the dry ingredients into a jar for a cookie, cake, brownie, or hot chocolate recipe and attach the recipe for it. You not only give them a great dessert but they then have the recipe to use over and over again.
This also works for coupon books or even a surprise trip to a local free attraction, like a free factory tour. Just Google “Free Things to do in (your town)” Our sister site Our Roaming Hearts has a huge list of free things to do in every state.
Related: 20 of the Best Christmas Cookie Recipes
Freecycle might not seem like a place to score Christmas gifts, but it can be. I have seen brand new items posted on there more times than I can count. Watch the Freecycle groups carefully and especially around the holidays and families clear out old stuff to make room for new!
Also as mentioned above watch the curbs on trash day, I've found everything from bikes that needed a little elbow grease to dollhouses and even tools hubby was looking for.
Related: 12 Family Summer Activities That You Won't Believe are Actually FREE
Last but certainly not least, a lot of the time, local churches will help with Christmas gifts; especially if you attend regularly. If you have tried everything else, speak to your Pastor to see if the church can help. More often than not, they can and will.
Do you have any tips I missed when there is no money for Christmas Gifts? Let us know in the comments below!