The holiday season is fast upon us and the urge to overspend is difficult to resist. While the giving spirit is great, blowing your budget is not. After all, the holidays are about more than gift giving – they are about spending time with family and loved ones. To help you keep on track during these festive occasions, here are some helpful holiday saving tips to help you give to those you love – and even keep a little for yourself!
How to Save During the Holidays
When we think of spending during the holidays, we often think only of gifts and presents – what we do not often think of are other costs associated with holiday celebrations. Consider the cost of hosting Thanksgiving for instance. How much do you spend for a turkey that serves 16 people? 20? 30? Not to mention all of the sides, wine, desserts – the list goes on and on. Or maybe you fly out to your family home as a guest – how much do flights and accommodations set you back?
The below money saving tips will hopefully help you “trim the fat” and not break the bank during these festive times!
Holiday Spring Cleaning
One easy way to save money is to perform a little “spring cleaning” around the holidays. By cleaning out the clutter, you can often find leftover gifts you forgot to give, or family heirlooms you may want to pass on to the next generation that make for great sentimental presents. And let’s not forget those old items you have been meaning to re-gift!
Additionally, you would be surprised at the bounty of wrapping paper, greeting cards, decorations, bows, tape, and so forth you will uncover. It all adds up!
Create a Holiday Budget
Without creating some sort of a holiday budget, it is nearly impossible not to bust the bank. Set limits on the amount of money you are willing to spend, and, if necessary, feel free to set budgets for specific aspects of the holidays. For example, make a budget for entertaining, one for gifts, and one for travel. Try to make sure your budget is realistic. And no matter what you do, sticky to the budget!
Save Money by Spending Cash
The urge to charge your presents on a credit card and deal with the consequences later can be very strong, especially if you have a tight budget. However, don’t fall for this trap. In most instances, you will be adding an extra 20% – or more – to the price of each of those presents, and putting yourself in debt at the same time. If you cannot afford the gifts, imagine the stress of having to pay them off after the holidays.
Remember the Reason for the Season
We all want to give great presents to our friends and loved ones and it is certainly easy to get carried away. However, when you are debating if you are spending too much on a gift, or questioning whether you have “enough” gifts for someone, take a step back and remember what the holiday season is really all about: spending time with the important people in our lives. Leave the hype of spending frenzies where they belong – in the hands of advertisers!