The holiday season is just around the corner! This is a wonderful time filled with friends and family but can also be an expensive time of the year.
Holiday travel, gifts, and decorations can all add up quickly. If you’re not careful, these expenses can result in credit card debt that can be difficult to pay off through the rest of the year.
According to Investopedia, the average American spends almost $1,000 on winter holidays, with the majority of this expense being gifts.
Never fear, there are lots of ways you can save money this time of year, without sacrificing on holiday joy.
1. Shop second hand.
Shopping from thrift stores and secondhand marketplaces such as Craigslist and OfferUp are great ways to save when purchasing both gifts and decorations.
2. Do it DIY.
Use your talents to delight those you love with homemade gifts such as a painting, handwritten poem, or baked goods.
You can also spruce up your home through DIY décor such as garlands made of tree trimmings and pinecones from the backyard.
Tip: Don’t know where to start? Social media platforms such as Pinterest have great ideas and how-to’s for free.
3. Take time for tradition.
Talk to the people you spend the holidays with and discuss what is most important to you. There are lots of ways to keep costs down without losing important traditions.
- Instead of purchasing a gift for every family member, opt for a Secret Santa with a spending limit.
- Enjoy a homemade potluck style dinner where everyone chips in rather than an expensive night out or hosting a spendy meal.
- Plan inexpensive events such as a cookie decorating contest instead of buying expensive tickets to a show or concert.
4. Make a budget.
Before getting carried away with holiday spending, make a strict budget and stick to it.
Take out a set amount of cash at the beginning of the season and only spend that amount to help you stay on budget.
5. Don’t procrastinate.
Starting your holiday shopping early will give you time to compare the best prices and allow you to take advantage of special sales such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals.
This can also help spread out your spending to cover multiple pay checks instead of all in one month.
6. Open a Christmas Club Savings Account.
Use Direct Deposit to put a little money away each month into your Christmas Club Savings account so you are well prepared for the holiday season. Funds in this account automatically deposit into your checking on November 1st.
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