Money saving tips for the holiday season
The holidays are barely two months away. May these simple money saving tips for the holiday season help you plan for a meaningful Christmas without getting buried in debt.
Make a list and stick to it
Even Santa has a list. Take some time to sit down and think about everyone you need or want to gift, and set an amount for each even before you hit the store. This way, you’ll see that even small amounts given to a lot of people will pile up on your bill. You may think twice if you absolutely have to give a gift. This also eliminates the risk of forgetting someone and ending up buying an expensive item eventually. Have a “kids only” rule when giving gifts to families. Agree with some friends not to exchange gifts, instead go out for dinner going dutch to catch up. After all, spending time and rekindling relationships are more important than expensive gifts. When giving and receiving gifts to Secret Santa, encourage everyone to suggest a gift that they really want instead of ending up with an item you will not use.
Spread out your purchases
Now that you have a list, you can buy gifts a little at a time. If you start now, you’ll be spreading your expenses over the next two months before December. In this way, the bills will be manageable, instead of having one big shopping spree and getting into debt right after the holidays.
It’s easy to lose track of your spending because of the holiday rush. Bring cash when you shop and leave the credit cards at home. You’ll know immediately that you’ve exhausted your budget when the cash runs out, and avoid going overboard.
Shopping online eliminates additional costs of loading up on petrol, parking space, and eating out. It also removes the temptation of buying items on impulse. You can save on delivery charges by buying in bulk.
Now that you’ve bought your gifts…
Do away with the crisp and shiny wrapping papers and ribbons. Instead, wrap your gifts in colourful old magazine pages. Alternatively, you can stick with the classic “brown paper packages tied up with string.” This is just as neat looking, but not as expensive.
Give I-O-U Certificates
Shopping is most expensive during this gift-giving season, and then almost everything goes on sale by January. You could hand out creative I-O-U Certificates to your friends and family, and then buy them the items they want the following month.
You could also use this opportunity to teach your kids the value of waiting. You can buy them an extra gift using the money saved by waiting for the sale to reward them for their patience.
Instead of the generic, store-bought greeting cards, why not stretch your creative juices and make your own? Involve your kids for extra quality time they will surely love. If you are feeling stumped for ideas, this list might help you get started.
You can do the same with your decorations. Make decorations from recycled materials to save even more money. This list from All Free Christmas Crafts offers an extensive list of decorating ideas.
Speaking of decorations…
Invest some time and equipment to organize your holiday decorations for storage so you can use them again next year. Use sturdy plastic bins and containers that keep out dust, and label containers properly. t will be well worth the effort and save buying new decorations every year.
Plan your travel
If you plan on visiting friends and family, book your flights ahead of time. If you will be driving long distances, make sure your car is travel-ready to avoid costly repairs along the way.
Give the gift of your time
Offer to baby sit, walk the dog, or help with a home improvement project your buddy is working on for a priceless gift he will never forget.
Planning a celebration with a limited budget should not be stressful. Just a pinch of creativity and resourcefulness will go a long way. I hope these money saving tips for the holiday season gives you some ideas how to start saving up and spending less not just for the season, but for the coming New Year, too!