October 15, 2020
Having fun doesn’t have to mean overspending. Enjoy your holidays and save money at the same time with these tips you may not have tried before.
Don’t wait until you start hearing Christmas music on the radio. The key to saving money is time; the more time you spend saving, the more potential you have to save. The sooner you start, the easier it is to meet your goals. Figure out how much money you plan to spend this year and then break down the larger sum into smaller chunks. There is about 10 weeks between now and Christmas. Break your goal into 10 deposits and start saving. Saving in smaller increments makes it easier in the long run.
When the holidays come around, splurging becomes second nature. Don’t let the holiday fun coerce you into buying things you don’t need. You can still have fun without letting your feelings determine your spending. Plan a few fun treats; set aside money for that special treat or a fancy meal out with loved ones. Spontaneous spending can add up fast during the holiday season. If you like the spontaneity of the holidays, fill an envelope with cash and leave your credit cards at home. It will be much easier to prevent spending your gift money on a night out with old friends.
Write down the list of names and look over it. Consider removing anyone who doesn’t need to be on your list. It’s easy to add more and more people to your list and much harder to remove them. It can be difficult to prioritize who to buy gifts for; parents, kids, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends; where does the list end? This year try limiting your list to immediate family and a few close friends you see on a regular basis. Pare down the list even more by suggesting a gift exchange or secret Santa to your extended family.
Making a list can not only prevent you from forgetting someone but also help you get creative. When you finalize your list, think through the things you already have in your home. Your unused items might find a better home with someone on your list. Remember your sister talking about getting an air fryer? You’ve only used yours once in the last few years. Do you have things in storage you don’t plan on using anytime soon that might get more use from someone you know? Make sure to discuss it with your family first before giving something away. But if you don’t use it, it’s in good condition, and you know someone who would love it, it might be a good idea to wrap it up! Make sure it’s clean and presentable before you give it away, though.
Buying wrapping paper and gift bags can cost more than you think. Skip out on buying the big fancy bows and wrapping paper. Instead, reuse those shipping boxes your gifts came in and buy a cheap roll of brown or white paper. Write sweet notes or draw fun pictures on the outside to give it a loving, personal touch. You can also save on labels by writing their name on the wrapping!
Last-minute shopping makes it hard to stick to a budget. Keep yourself from buying overpriced gifts because you’re crunched for time by shopping early. You’ll have more time to think about your decision and avoid expensive, expedited shipping for online purchases.
Sometimes the best gifts aren’t always physical items. Everyone feels loved and appreciated in different ways. Some need quality time, physical touch, or acts of service to feel appreciated. Buy a gift card from favorite restaurants, a massage place, or offer a free night of babysitting to show you care. Gift your services to love your family and friends and create your own coupons.
The holidays aren’t about the gifts and decorations, even though they add to the fun. Enjoying time with loved ones and showing them you care is the true heart behind the holidays. With a little creativity and planning, you can stay on budget and have a memorable time with your loved ones.