Christmas is coming up quickly. If you haven’t already started shopping for those important holidays gifts, it is about time to start! Buying gifts for all the loved ones on your list can be very expensive if you don’t have your own army of magical, toy-making elves though. Here are some tips to save your wallet this holiday season.

Make a gift list

Make your list and check it twice this Christmas! Knowing exactly who you need to buy gifts for can help you be certain you don’t spend more than you need to. Know who you can spend a little less on (or even make a gift for, rather than buying it) and who is going to need a more expensive gift.

Embrace your inner elf

Santa has his elves to make toys for him and save him money, but you have something similar: your own craftiness! Don’t underestimate the amount of money you can save by applying whatever skills you have to handcraft a few gifts. Not everyone on your list will appreciate them, sure, but some people will cherish them more than store-bought gifts.

Stick to a holiday budget

The holidays are an expensive time all around. Beyond the gifts, there is traveling, cooking and entertaining to think about. While it can be difficult to create a comprehensive budget which encompasses all those aspects, taking the time to make one can help ensure you don’t have to start the new year with an empty wallet.

Plan for an extra gift or two

When making your budget and gift list, make sure to add in a little wiggle room. Chances are, you may be invited to a party or two you didn’t plan for and will need to bring along a gift. If you don’t plan for this, it may throw your entire budget into chaos!

Get your holiday spirit dirty

One good way to save some money on gifts is to encourage gift exchanges at parties with your friends. Often, such exchanges have a relatively low limit on the price for gifts, ensuring everyone involved spends a little less than they would have otherwise. Plus, you can up the fun by turning the exchange into a fun game of Dirty Santa!