‘Tis the season for warm drinks, sweet treats, and unwanted debt? Not this year! Have your fruitcake and eat it too with these tips to help you save a bit this holiday season.
1. Decide how much you plan on spending
Whether it’s purchasing gifts or purchasing your daily peppermint latte, figure out how much money you plan to dedicate to the holidays this season. When planning your budget for the month, include how much you hope to spend on anything related to the holidays. You may need to cut back on your other regular spending for the month.
2. Organize your shopping list
Are you unsure of where to begin with holiday shopping? Worried you may have too many people to shop for and not enough money to shop with? Get organized and create a list for your next shopping trip. Figure out who you’re buying for and how much you plan to spend for each person. Having a budget in mind will keep you from adding too much to your shopping bag.
3. Pay cash for everything
It can be too easy to buy everything you see when all you have to do is swipe your card. Stay on budget and out of holiday debt by using cash for all your purchases. You’ll be forced to only buy what you planned and you’ll keep your card safe from any potential holiday fraud.
4. Get creative with gifts
Not every gift needs to come from a store. Some of the most memorable gifts come from the heart…or your craft box. If you’re really pinching pennies this holiday season, opt for homemade gifts for your friends and families. Never underestimate a hand written letter and a lovely, homemade craft.
5. Be cautious of the word “sale”
Coupons, BOGO’s, and sales, oh my! The holidays are filled with a million ways to save on your purchases. The trick is to differentiate between saving money and being tricked into spending more. The next time you’re faced with a sale, ask yourself if you’re really saving money on that “buy one, get one” deal or not.
At the end of the day, remember that the holiday season isn’t about being surrounded with gifts, but being surrounded by friends and family. Spend less time worrying about money and more time making memories with the ones you love. Keep up the holiday spirit and everything else will fall into its place!