Listen. Money is tight. There are too many people on your list! #AerieREAL Role Model, Entrepreneur & Podcaster, Jenna Kutcher, is here to help you focus on what really matters during the holiday season.

If you still want to give a little more to the ones you love, Jenna shared her tips for spending less & still showing how much you care.

What are your go-to money saving tips during the holidays—or in general?

Our family focuses on experiences over things, so for the last 5 years, we’ve opted to skip presents altogether and just block off a weekend where we can all be together. Sounds simple and silly, right? But it’s taken the stress out of the holidays for the adults and prioritized TIME being the big present. We cherish our family time and of course we sneak a small gift for the kids so that they get to experience the Christmas magic. For us, presence > presents.

What are your tips for showing those you love that you care—without breaking the bank?

In a day and age where everything is so digital, take the time to handwrite a letter to someone you love or make a video of your favorite moments or memories spent with them. One of our best gifts we ever got was a flash drive with video clips from our childhood so we could watch them whenever! My brother took time to convert the videos over from VHS, but having those memories is better than any present I ever received.  For my family, I always offer to shoot photos of them for free, so I’ll do a family photoshoot or take photos of the kids when we’re together and that’s a special way to use my gifts as a gift! Think outside of the box and create something with meaning that might only cost you the time you spend putting it together.

When you’re buying gifts, how do you stay on budget?

This might be silly, but I keep track of expenses in a note in my phone! So whenever I buy something, I check it off the list and keep track of the total expense including things like shipping, gift wrap, and a card. Having a tally helps me to stay on track and also helps me to ensure I don’t forget anyone on my list (which, let’s be honest, my list is very small since our family opted to simplify the holiday!).

Do you really have to give gifts to EVERYONE? How do you decide who to cut from your list?

Have you ever danced the awkward dance where people agree to do no gifts and then everyone still shows up with presents because they didn’t want to be the one person who didn’t bring a thing? Yeah, we did that for a few years and laughed every time because everyone was breaking the rules until we set clear boundaries. My main list is: my husband, baby girl, nieces and nephews, one gift for my parents and in-laws, and then grandparents and that is it! It’s pretty simple and most of the time we opt for heartfelt vs. expensive!

What are some free ways you show people you care during the holidays?

  • Spend uninterrupted time with someone you love
  • Create a fun walk down memory lane with photos or videos
  • Write a letter to someone

How do you budget your time and effort this time of year?

It’s so easy to overextend yourself during the holidays. Last year we had a brand new baby and we were on the go with this new baby for the holiday season and so we quickly learned that it’s okay to say “no” and protect your time and sanity when it comes to commitments. Try not to overextend yourself so that you can be present and in the moment with your loved ones every chance you get!

What are your money saving tips during the holidays? Comment below & pay it forward—literally!

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  1. Shania

    I always Olga holiday shopping during Balck Friday!!

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