How to Decorate on a Tight Budget

Festive decorations are a must-have for many this holiday season.

Driving down the street and seeing neighbor’s houses adorned in colorful lights and candy-cane walkways are symbols for what a lot of people consider the best time of the year.  

Unfortunately, the “best time of the year” can also be the most financially perilous. Making sure you can afford presents, decorations and holiday meals, along with all of your normal monthly expenses, can be more than just a little overwhelming.

To help you out, here are a few tips for how to decorate on a tight budget:

1. Do it yourself

Buying decorative sets that have already been made for you can be appealing, but they tend to be overpriced. Go the DIY route and put your own stamp on decorations. Check out sites like DIY Network and Pinterest for unique ideas and tutorials. Here are some examples of cool holiday DIYs:

This light bulb ornament

This fresh Christmas wreath

This cute snowman, made from fishbowls

These snowflake ornaments

This easy Christmas craft

These little tree table-toppers

2. Get creative

Use the holiday decorations that you already have in fun new ways. Tip: try to use space you haven’t before — fill some containers with ornaments and place them on your mantle to add color to the room!

Simple garland with lights and ribbon can transform your staircase

Another staircase idea

Use tasteful centerpieces to bring a room together

Don’t be afraid to try something new with your tree

And don’t forget the dining table!

3. Wrap your presents with cost in mind

Wrapping gifts can get get pretty expensive, pretty quickly. Fortunately, there are lots of cute ways to do this without spending all your money (that you probably want to use on the gifts themselves).

Spruce up plain paper with leaves or pine branches

Add a low-cost item like a lollipop

Get a roll of festive tape and plaster it on all your gifts

Use themed pictures

Tune into your inner artist

Or even use newspaper clippings

4. Prepare for the next holiday season

Spend the week after Christmas this year looking for discounts. You can score all the best decorations for a fraction of the price, and enjoy them for years to come. 

Try Michael’s; they’re devoting more of their inventory to decor rather than crafts, but it would also be a great place to gain inspiration for new DIY projects. Jo-Ann Fabrics is a similar store that can run a bit cheaper. Also look for deals at: Hobby Lobby, Target, Home Goods, and Pier One Imports.

At the end of the day, the holidays aren’t a decorating contest; even if you can’t go all-out this year, you can still enjoy time with your family (and make plans for the next!)

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