January 7, 2020

How We Spent ZERO Dollars for Dirty Santa Gifts

Posted in: Debt-Free Living

Even though we are debt-free and could spend all our disposable income on Christmas gifts, we still stick to our Christmas budget.  A budget gives you freedom with your money and we never want to overspend on a holiday.  Especially knowing that the extra money could have been spent investing in our future or Camryn’s future.

We slightly increased our budget this year because we added a few more people to our gift list.  We did not increase it enough for all the Dirty Santa gifts we had to buy.  Since we had to buy TEN Dirty Santa gifts this year, we decided to get a little creative.  It could have easily cost us $150-$250 for all of these gifts.  Instead, we spent ZERO dollars on Dirty Santa gifts this year!  Here’s how we did it:


We had two parties where we played Dirty Santa in one weekend, then one the next week, and two the week after that.  Last year, we didn’t get to attend two of those parties, so we saved the gifts and used them this year.  I didn’t even bother re-wrapping them to match the rest of our gifts because I didn’t want to waste wrapping paper.


Every year without fail, we end up getting Dirty Santa gifts that we hate.  (Seriously, how does Weston always pick a gift bag with a flashlight??) Instead of tossing those gifts, we re-gift them.  We had a party come up this year that we had not planned on attending, but we were able to re-gift items from a party the week before.  We have no shame in re-gifting Dirty Santa gifts and we have done it multiple times in years past.


Before you think that we’re crazy and weird, hear me out.  We all have things lying around our house that were either given to us or purchased by us that we have never used.  When I was trying to declutter our house last year, I found a few items with tags intact we have never used and would likely never use.  Instead of donating them, I put them in the gift closet (more on that next week!) and saved them for Dirty Santa gifts.

That’s how we spent zero dollars on ten Dirty Santa gifts this year!  I really want to make this a habit each year, so one of my new goals is to spend the lowest amount possible on Dirty Santa gifts from now on.  It is so liberating and exciting to spend less than your Christmas budget and use that money elsewhere!

  1. Jan says:

    Love, love this idea. Actually I thought I’m the only one who does this! While dirty Santa is a fun game it’s not very practical . But who am I to spoil a party!
    First time blog reader, loved it!

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