Fantastic Advice for Saving Money during the Holidays
During the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the desire to give the perfect gift. This can lead to people only thinking about getting that perfect present, and ignoring the cost. Too many times consumers dig themselves into a financial hole that they can’t escape in the New Year.
The holidays have a strange effect on most people. If we don’t watch ourselves, we can easily stretch our limits. These limits include our time, sanity, and especially our money. To keep yourself from going into massive debt, you should start saving and budgeting right this instant. You can start doing this task by following some of the tips on this list below.
Here are a few tips to help avoid the New Year’s financial headache:
Determine the amount of money to be spent –
Many people begin the holiday season with a list of people they want to give gifts to, and then figure out what they want to purchase. They forget to add the cost of Christmas extras such as Christmas cards, postage, decorations, special food and more. The amount of money spent can easily get out of control.
Before the holiday season begins, create a budget –
Unless you consider yourself a part of the Rockefellers, you will need to set a budget for this holiday season and all others. Whether you attend Christmas-themed events, go out to eat with friends and family, or travel to your in-laws on Christmas Eve, figure out how much you can spend and don’t go beyond that number. Start with an amount of money that can be comfortably spent. Once that amount is determined, presents and other Christmas items can then be properly chosen. Sticking with the budget can avoid future shock from overspending. Use our free Budget Builder tool to help you!
Purchase items using cash –
You might get tempted to use your credit cards for holiday shopping so that you can take advantage of the points. If you decide to follow this plan, ensure that you can pay everything off at the end of the month. If you get hit with that credit card interest, your gifts could cost up to 20 percent more than what you paid at the register. It will take discipline, but refuse to use credit cards when preparing for the holidays. Experts recommend that once the budget amount has been determined; take out the same amount in cash. When the cash is gone, the budget amount has been reached. It will take discipline to not spend anymore but could save you a lot of money.
Save postage and send e-cards –
There are a wide variety of websites that offer the opportunity to send free holiday e-cards. If a person is willing to spend a small amount of money, they can send some that are pretty impressive. Some play music, others provide games to play and more. Some e-card websites even allow people to create an individualized card with a picture.
Don’t lose purchasing control –
Christmas is not the time of year parents want to see the look of disappointment on their children’s face. If a child wants a present that is over budget, it may be wise to provide them with alternate choices. This will give the child a chance to choose what they really want, and discover there are limits.
Permit sufficient time to get ready –
Last minute gift buying can be costly. Creating a workable plan for purchasing, decorating, cooking, etc. can save a ton of money, and reduce stress.
Stay Calm and Shop For Your Loved Ones –
Around this time of year, people easily get caught up in the advertising hoopla. You don’t want to fall into the buying frenzy that inevitably takes place around this time. Try to avoid television advertisements. Plus, you shouldn’t look at what your friends spend on holiday gifts to determine what you should do.
Start That Holiday Shopping Early –
Plan and shop early to give yourself time to wait for the very best deals, ensure that gifts get shipped to the right place, and start planning your DIY presents to your loved ones.
Pantry Search Party –
You will probably cook quite a few holiday meals during this time of year. To avoid overspending at the grocery store, check your pantry and cupboards to ensure that you don’t buy extras of items you already have. Bonus tip: see if you can tweak different recipes to use items already in your cupboard.
Cook What People Love –
Every time you go to a dinner party, there is always that one dish that everyone ignores. Avoid this fate at your gathering by making dishes that you know you and your friends will love. Not only will you become a hit at the next dinner party, but you won’t waste food and money.
Make It A Potluck –
During the holidays, you’ll go to a lot of potlucks. This makes sense as many of us holding parties don’t want to spend an entire day over a hot stove. As long as you have friends, good wine, and good times, a potluck holiday dinner party can work for the vast majority of people.
Purchase Small Frozen Turkeys –
Frozen turkeys act as a cheaper option than the fresh version. When you purchase two eight-pound birds, you can buy them cheaper than you would if you bought one 16-pound turkey. Just know that one 16-pound turkey takes about four days to thaw fully.
Use Leftovers During the Holiday Season –
You can make plenty of things from the leftovers in your fridge. When your kids don’t finish their food, wrap it up and save it for later. You can also make broth or soup out of the uneaten turkey.
Never Go Shopping Without A List –
This tip will also serve you well in the 11 other months of the year. When you shop for Thanksgiving groceries or Christmas gifts, always make a list beforehand so that you don’t make unnecessary purchases that take you over your spending limit. You won’t think the holidays are so jolly if you go into the New Year in massive debt.
Don’t forget the meaning of the holidays –
Buying presents and other things is a part of the holiday season. It should not be the only part of the season that gets recognized. A meaningful personal gift that you make yourself could be worth more to that person than any expensive brand name item. Being with friends and family should be the highlight of this holiday season!