The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes all of the joy and merriment we have come to expect. This season also brings along the craziness of gift-buying. In all of the craziness it is easy to quickly feel overwhelmed and stressed out. It’s easy to fall into Holiday Hypnosis and spend way more than you expected. You don’t need a big bank account to show how big your heart is.
Here are a few money saving tips for this holiday season:
- Don’t wait ’til the last minute. Give yourself some time to shop around and find the best deals. You don’t want to wait until the day before that big family gathering to go out and find the perfect gift. The stores might not have what you were looking for, and you might end up spending way more than you had planned to compensate.
- Create a holiday budget. And stick to it. A good rule of thumb is to not spend more than 1.5 percent of your annual income on the holidays. Try out this holiday budget planner to determine how much you should spend this holiday season. It might also be helpful to make a list of how much you want to spend on each person (just don’t let Mom find out you spent a little bit more on Dad).
- Don’t buy things you can’t afford. Before you go ahead and comment “Thanks, Captain Obvious!” hear me out. It’s very tempting to go ahead and make purchases with a credit card, especially when stores offer savings for using the particular credit card for their store. It’s o.k. to do this, just make sure you have enough money to pay off the bill when it arrives. Don’t fall into Holiday Hypnosis and spend without checking your bank account.
- Be Creative. A homemade gift can be a refreshing change from the typical store bought gift. It can also show how much a person means to you by the thought and effort that is put into creating something on your own. There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating your own gift. Here’s a list of DIY Gift ideas.
- Stay Inside. The holidays are all about spending time with family. Rather than going out and spending money on
restaurants and other fun activities, spend some quality time at home. Put on some pj’s and watch a classic holiday film. Bring out your favorite board game. Make some hot chocolate and decorate cookies. There’s plenty of fun to be had inside the comfort of your own home.
- Find Free Holiday Activities. If get stuffed up inside your home and insist on going out, find some free activities to do with the family. Drive around and see the holiday lights on the houses in your community, or go caroling in the neighborhood.
- Donate Responsibly. The holidays are a time of giving, but don’t give away any money that you don’t have. Rather than donating money, donate clothes or food. Go through your closet and find old coats, or shoes, or any clothes that you don’t need and give to those in need. You can also donate cans of food to a local food bank.
It’s easy to stay on top of your spending for the holiday season, as long as you plan ahead. Don’t let the holidays get the best of you.
What are some ways that you save money for the holidays? Comment and let us know!