Decorating for the holidays gives us a chance to let our creativity shine (and maybe a chance to outdo the neighbors!).

It’s easy to get carried away decorating for the holidays but don’t let it break the budget. You can be thrifty and still have an amazing holiday display!

decorating for the holidaysFollow these tips to spruce up your home on a budget while decorating for the holidays.

  • Make a List 

Any crafter can tell you how easy it is to wander the aisles of the craft store for inspiration and end up spending hundreds of dollars. Before you shop, make a list and plan on sticking to it.

Look to magazines, internet sites and even friends’ photos for theme inspiration, and take note of the things that you’ll need. When you head to the store, make a promise to yourself that you won’t purchase anything that isn’t on your list.

  • Get Crafty

Decorating for the holidays doesn’t mean buying all new décor.

As twigs fall out of your trees in the fall, save some prettily shaped ones and spray paint them white or silver. Go on a pinecone hunt and save colorful leaves for centerpieces and wreaths.

Popcorn garlands and cookie dough ornaments are not only festive, but making them is a wonderful way to spend a family weekend decorating for the holidays.

  • Choose Your Own Color

Decorating for the holidays doesn’t mean you are stuck with red and green! Pick your favorite color(s) and create your own holiday theme.

When you do this, chances are high that you can recycle your finds for other holidays. Colorful glass bowls look great as candy dishes and fruit bowls throughout the year, and a wreath painted in your favorite color can be redecorated seasonally.

  • Use Your Collections

Do you have a great collection of postcards? Do you love miniature spoons? If you have great collectibles hiding in the cupboard, get them out and use them for the holidays.

A tree decorated with ticket stubs, postcards and souvenirs makes a great conversation piece for your recent travels, while miniature spoons, thimbles and bobbins make great decorations for a mini-tree in the sewing room.

  • Shop After Holiday Sales

If you don’t have the money this year to decorate exactly how you want, consider holding onto your theme for next year and hitting the post-holiday sales. Ornaments and decorations can be found for pennies on the dollar and, when combined with coupons, can be had for a steal.

  • Lighting

If you plan to incorporate lighting while decorating for the holidays, use clear lights. Colored lights are typically season specific but clear lights can be used all year round. Be sure to use a timer and LED lights; both will help you save money on your energy bill.

When you set your timer, set it to come on at dusk and go off shortly after you go to bed. Keeping lights on all night long is a silly waste of money! Who’s driving around at three in the morning checking out holiday displays?

Decorating for the holidays is a fun activity for the whole family.

Remember, keeping your budget in mind when decorating for the holidays will mean you have more money for gifts!

Thomas HathawayAuthor Thomas Hathaway is a financial consultant and suggests there are times when a payday loan may come in handy when you have financial urgency prior to your regular pay date.

Thomas offers great tips for families decorating for the holidays on a budget.