The most wonderful time of year can also be the most stressful. Between making holiday travel plans, and finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, saving money can feel impossible. However, putting aside money and taking care of holiday expenses is still doable with a bit of preparation and serious discipline. Check out our 10 tips on putting aside extra cash during the chaos of the holidays.
1. Set a spending limit
This is the key to not overspend when doing your holiday shopping. Sales tags and great deals can fool you into thinking you’re actually saving money, but after adding up your holiday haul, you may be shocked at just how much money you’ve spent.
2. Create a gift list
Between family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. you may feel like your gift list is endless. Sit down and write out a list of everyone you want to give a gift to this season, and then, with your budget in mind, start making cuts. This may sound harsh, but you might not be able to realistically buy gifts for everyone on your list, and that’s ok.
3. Grab Some Cash
After creating your budget, take out the amount of cash you will need to purchase gifts. This prevents you from overspending. Once the money is gone, the holiday shopping is over!
4. Put away the credit cards
Many individuals tend to get swipe happy around the holiday shopping season, and before they know it, they’ve racked up a bill that seriously sets them back. Stick to your budget and say no to the plastic.
5. Avoid express shipping costs; buy gifts early
We’ve all been in the unfortunate situation where Christmas is around the corner, and you’re scrambling to purchase gifts that you’ve put off buying. Around the holidays, those express shipping costs are extremely high. Make your purchases now, and use regular business shipping.
6. Consider baking
The way to just about anyone’s heart is through their stomachs. Skip out on buying expensive holiday presents this year, and give the gift of baked goods! Holiday specific goodies are not only festive, but they are pretty frugal option when trying to save money.
7. Teach kids financial boundaries
Your kids have probably been inundated by commercials selling them all the latest toys and gadgets. Instead of buying them every toy on their wish list, explain to them that gifts cost money and money doesn’t grow on trees. Even Santa has a Christmas budget to adhere to.
8. Pay attention to sales
Discounts are everywhere during this time of the year. Hit them up and save a small chunk of change. Nothing wrong with purchasing last year’s hot ticket item at a discount!
9. Hit up holiday freebies
There are plenty of things to do around the holidays. Get creative and meet up with friends for ice skating, or take your family on a drive to see Christmas lights. Not everything worth doing cost money.
10. Remember the spirit of the holidays