How to Not Go Broke During the Holidays

Sponsored by Kohl'sKohl's Cash - How to not go broke
PUBLISHED NOV 1, 2018

‘Tis the season for gifting, parties, and a ‘round the clock ‘treat yourself’ feeling. But festivities aren’t always free. Aaand your holiday budget needs to come from somewhere. Before you say ho ho...oh no, we’re partnering with Kohl’s for their Black Friday sale to give you our best holiday budgeting tips. Frugal meets festive.

For when you’re making a list...

Check it twice…or three times. Come up with a gifting budget you’re comfortable spending. Then, prioritize and tier your recipients like a tree.

  • Tier 3: People getting cards or a simple greeting (not to be confused with coal, but almost as easy on your wallet)
  • Tier 2: People getting smaller items or stocking stuffers (think: work friends)
  • Tier 1: People getting gifts (the select few. aka the ~stars~ at the top of your tree)


Put a dollar amount next to every name and add it up to make sure you stay under your total gifting budget. Nice.


For when you want a gift that keeps on giving…

Cash in on Kohl’s Cash. It’s a Kohl’s program that’ll have your wallet looking sugar-plum(p). Yes, it’s technically a coupon, but it gives you real savings. Here’s how it works:

  • Shop during a Kohl’s Cash earns window.
  • Spend $50 on anything (we mean it - anything in-store or online is game.)
  • Get $10 back in Kohl’s Cash (during applicable periods)
  • Spend it during a redeem window (insert: your new last-minute gift budget)
  • Cue: happy dance

    Psst….there’s no limit to how much you can earn. It’s like getting paid to shop.


    For when you’ve been eating a lot of holiday cookies…

Go on a cash diet. Using credit cards out of convenience is a surefire way of letting spending get out of hand. Lookin’ at you, ‘necessary’ scented holiday candles. One Skimm HQ’r uses the ‘envelope trick’ to use more (aka less) dolla dolla bills. Here’s how it works: put your various holiday budgets into envelopes and take them with you when you shop. When the cash is gone, you’ve hit your cap. Simple as that.

For when you’ve spent enough money on ugly holiday sweaters…

Start a tradition that easier on everyone’s wallet (and eyes). Try volunteering locally, suggesting a family Secret Santa (each family member buys just one gift), or hosting a cookie exchange with coworkers. Bonding without breaking the bank.

For when you want to shop Black Friday...

Have a plan. Get a list of the stores you know are having a sale and see if any are happening early. FYI Kohl’s is celebrating early. Today you get special discounted items, plus 20% off while earning more Kohl’s Cash than usual. That means $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spend. So...this would be a great time to grab one of those big ticket items you’ve been eyeing all year, like this KitchenAid mixer.

For when Buddy the Elf’s homemade decorations inspire you…

Get crafty when it comes to gifting, too. Pick DIY presents that you can make in big batches for less money. If you want to gift their taste buds, try a high-yield recipe like chocolate bark. If you want to show them how creative you are, make homemade bath bombs with seasonal spices.

Sign up for the Daily Skimm and join the millions who already wake up with us.