Money is bound to seem tight around the holidays. No matter how much preparation you performed, there are always things left to the last minute that end up costing you more than you planned. Overspending is also an issue because of the surplus of holiday merchandise available. In every storefront, there are an elaborate gift and decoration designs.
Holidays are about being with friends and family, especially if you do not see them often. The stressful looming of financial sufferance can put a shade over your entire holiday. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the stress of everything that needs to be done but with these tips, you can cut some of that stress away.
Tip 1: Do Not Nickle and Dime
Not purchasing many small items is one of the most important aspects of shopping during the holiday season. When purchasing anything it can be easy to splurge on extra small things that may not be needed but are inexpensive. This will result in nickel and diming where slowly your money diminishes from the ‘little bits’ you spend repeatedly that result in holiday overspending. You’ll end up with a bunch of items that aren’t for anyone in particular and don’t make a full present on their own. Worst of all, you have less to spend on those you still need to buy for.
Tip 2: Skip the Costly Activities
Since the Holiday season is made of precious traditions, it is natural to go about these expensive tasks almost daily throughout the month of the holiday. Opt for free activities that can create just as precious memories for your family.
For instance, many locations pop up in the holiday season showing off their impressive lighting displays, but often will cost you. Consider, instead, taking a nightly drive around areas known to put up extravagant lights.
A picture with Santa is a great sentimental keepsake to track your child’s growth over the years but can cost quite a bit of money and time. During the holiday season, Santa appears at all sorts of free kid-friendly events outside of the mall. At one of these events, you could save by taking your own photo with a much shorter wait.
If none of the free activities will do, a little research may help you find the versions of the same activities that are less costly.
Tip 3: Beware of Sales
Sales draw consumers in with flashy signs and irresistible deals. The reality of these sales is that they are hardly any different than when the item is regularly priced. Even if it is substantially less, that does not mean you need it.
Some sales are meant just to draw you in the door and spend more on other things. This happens when the item on sale gets sold you and you are forced to spend more on a similar item. This is to say not to rely on the sales but just to benefit when they’re available.
Tip 4: Embrace DIY Projects
Homemade presents are no longer simply for children. Showcase your craft skills by various means that can also save you money on gifts. Plenty of DIY gift ideas can be found on the internet or in a library. If you can paint, consider purchasing an unfinished wooden jewelry box and creating a customized project for a family member. As a bonus homemade or customized gifts offer more sentimental value than a store bought the gift.
Tip 5: Gift Exchange
Instead of giving individual gifts to every friend or family member, arrange with them in advance a gift exchange. This is where you buy one gift for one member of the group. This way you can spend more on that one gift and save money. Consider setting a price limit or range everyone should stick to in order to keep things fair. There are even fun rules and versions that can be applied where you can ‘steal’ or trade gifts such as a ‘White Elephant’ exchange.
Tip 6: Pot Luck
Pot luck can be a successful alternative to purchasing tons of food yourself and add diversity to the meal. Have everyone attending your holiday dinner bring one dish and cook the main course yourself. Organizing with the group is a good idea so you don’t end up with 10 trays of deviled eggs. This will assist your workload as well so you have more time to get everything else on your list done.
Tip 7: Examine Pre-Holiday Sales
Pre-Holiday sales will help to get you ahead of it all. Not only can pre-holiday sales be just as good as those after Thanksgiving but you may even find things less expensive than you would around the holidays. This goes for pre-orders as well since you’ll have the time for them to come into stock and they may even come with a bonus for pre-ordering.
Looking for good gifts when they’re on sale throughout the year will save you a lot of stress when the holidays arrive. Just after the holidays a lot of holiday-themed items such as wrapping paper decrease dramatically in price if you can preserve it all year buy it then.
Tip 8: Prepare a List
Making a list to keep track of everyone you need to buy for can be of great use. As you shop take note of what everyone has, this way you can visually confirm your next priority. If you know what you are purchasing for everyone beforehand, then you can create a way to shop at the most cost-effective stores. Better yet, you can plan this out with coupons or offers stores offer at specific times. You can even view here and find many deals on items you may be seeking over this holiday time.
Tip 9: Skip the Cards
Cards are a wonderful sentiment to send to those who won’t be around for the holidays. In the age of the internet, you can do the same thing online, without paying for printing or postage. Even consider a phone call instead, it could give you an even greater feeling of connection. Cards are known for being discarded and postage is an unthought about the cost associated with mailing cards.
Tip 10: Know When to Stop
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you need more and more things because of the deals. Remember the true meaning of the holidays is getting together with loved ones. Everyone experiences the stress of the holidays and they understand how hard it is to buy everyone extravagant presents. You won’t lose them due to the silly gifts.
Remain Calm, Spend Less
It can be easy to become carried away on the holidays, but all of the unnecessary spending can take a toll on your life after the short season. There are plenty of ways to cut costs efficiently and still have a fun and memorable holiday. Take small steps in attaining a holiday that is not ard on the wallet through careful planning, budgeting, and executing self-control.
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