You’re not alone if you’re having trouble with your finances this year. With high gas prices, supply chain problems, inflation, and wage stagnation, many people are concerned about their financial security as we approach the holiday season. Do you ever wonder which will decline faster over the holiday season—your cash flow or the outdoor temperature?
Whether you like it or not, the holiday season is now upon us, and it’s time to prepare for the chilly months of December through February, which may be particularly hard on our wallets.
Tips for Saving Money During the Holiday Season
Check out these suggestions for how to save money over the holidays without sacrificing any of the joyous enjoyment.
When we don’t make a budget or have a clear idea of how much we have to spend, our spending tends to spiral out of control. Check your monthly spending to see how much you can spare before considering any holiday buying. To have extra money for your gifts, reduce non-essential expenditures if you have to in the months before the holidays.
Old Gift Cards
Consider the remaining balance on your old gift cards and the cards you’ll never use because they are for establishments you never dine at, shop at, or visit. Utilize the half cards to buy gifts and think of them as discounts. The other cards should be given to people who will value them. This Christmas, don’t squander those tiny plastic bits.
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Cut Down on Presents
Count everyone you buy gifts for each year, including friends, neighbors, coworkers, relatives, and even your children’s instructors. Consider removing them from your list if you are purchasing gifts for distant relatives and friends you rarely see. Alternatively, swap cards with them rather than gifts or send each other seasonal goodies like handmade cookies.
Coworkers, neighbors, and teachers can all benefit from using these alternatives. When you give these people smaller gifts, they can do the same with theirs, which helps them reduce their Christmas spending.
Having all of your friends over for food and beverages may get rather expensive very quickly if you tend to be the host, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still embrace your inner party animal this year. Make your gathering a potluck by asking your guests to bring an appetizer, a dessert, and drinks to share rather than providing all the food and beverages on your cash. You’ll receive a fantastic range of items without having to pay for everything yourself.
Memories Over Material Things
Put that into action by emphasizing creating memories over trading presents. Consider ways your family and friends can enjoy themselves without spending money, such as caroling, admiring holiday lights, sledding, or engaging in a snowball fight. Start a new holiday tradition by volunteering; local nursing homes, homeless shelters, and children’s organizations need assistance around this time of year.
Prioritize Low-Cost Activities
Holidays are a time for gatherings, gift exchanges, and happy hours, which drain your wallet. Change up some of your regular activities, like going to the theater or having brunch every Sunday, for something less expensive to help offset some of the inherent expenditure.
Consider going on a stroll through your neighborhood park, viewing the Christmas light displays nearby, or staying in to watch your favorite holiday movie for a date night activity.
Credit Card Points
It’s time to use the credit card points accumulated all year to boost your holiday spending power. Depending on your savings amount, you might be able to pay for complete gifts using only rewards points.
Control Your Instincts
Marketing emails, social media posts, and holiday commercials all nudge you to make purchases. Find out what stimulates your shopping behavior and stay away from those things. Do the sights, sounds, and crowds of the holidays make people spend too much money?
Buy things online instead. Irresistible to a sales email? Make a special email address for stores and only check it when shopping for the items on your list. Influencer posts—do they encourage splurging? Until you finish your shopping, stop following your biggest temptations.
Budgeting during the holidays might be challenging for some people. Much of the fun and romance of this unique time of year seems to be lost when people try to limit their expenditures. Nevertheless, that isn’t logical when you think about it. Spending time with those you care about rather than money makes the holidays joyful.
Your vacations can be refocused by spending less money overall and more on memorable experiences like these. In other words, a budget-friendly vacation can be more spectacular and memorable than one that involves extravagant expenditure.