Tips 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.
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- 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 over spending.
Purchase items using cash- 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 any more 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.
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!