I honestly can’t believe the holiday season is here already. One minute I’m all excited because it’s getting slightly cooler as we enter fall, and the next minute I’m behind on my Christmas shopping and the ground is covered in snow (which I’m still not really ready for.) It’s no secret that the holiday season can be an expensive one, and I’m always on the hunt for ways to make the season a little cheaper. Today I wanted to share with you a few tips to save money during the holidays!
Make a Comprehensive Budget
The first thing I do before I buy a single Christmas gift or piece of decor each year is sit down and create a comprehensive Christmas budget. I outline each person I have to (or want to) buy for and how much I’ll be able to spend on them. I do this by working backward. I pick a number of how much we’re willing to spend on gifts total, and that’s all I have to work with. I usually end up spending less in the long run because I rarely allow ourselves to go over budget on a single person, and often end up spending less than I’d allocated.
The important thing to remember about your holiday budget, however, is that it should include a lot more than just gifts because that’s not all you spend money on! A comprehensive holiday budget should also include decor, clothing for any holiday parties, and any food and drink costs associated with hosting or attending a holiday party.
Find Cheaper Gift Alternatives
I get that when it comes to gift-giving for our friends and family, we want to go above and beyond. We want to get everyone something they’re going to L-O-V-E. And that’s totally fine! But that doesn’t mean those gifts have to be expensive. There are plenty of ways around that. First of all, look for a way to cut the cost of something. I never buy online without doing two things. First, I use Ebates. I have their Chrome extension so I just click the button when I’m online shopping. Second, I search online for coupon codes for that specific store or product.
Another way to save money on gifts is to gift experiences and quality time over items. Think of something you two love to do together, and plan a day together! Obviously, this isn’t always cheaper, depending on the activity, but it definitely can be!
Know When to Say No
When it comes to the holidays, there’s always going to be another party to attend, another Secret Santa to enter, another person to send a Christmas card to, etc. Christmas can be as cheap or as expensive as you choose to make it, and adding on extras on top of extras is choosing to make it more expensive. At some point, you have to know your mental and financial limits and know when it’s time to say no. You don’t have to attend every party. You don’t have to sign up for the Secret Santa at work if you aren’t friends with your coworkers. And you don’t have to send a Christmas card to everyone you’ve ever been friends with. I think the real challenge of Christmas is making it about your nearest and dearest, but it becomes infinitely better when we learn to do that.
What are your go-to ways to save money during the holidays?
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