Issue 30Living Smart
Saving for the Holidays
With school back in session, the leaves falling, and the summer behind us, the holidays are coming up!
Here are ten tips on how you can save money while enjoying the holiday season over the next few months:
Create a Budget
The biggest and most important tip for saving money during the holidays is setting up a limit on how much you’re willing to spend. By setting a limit, you will have X amount of money to spend across X amount of people you need to purchase gifts for.
You would then have to allocate how much you want to spend on each person accordingly, be it friends, family, co-workers, or your significant other.
Start Saving Early
The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is the time of the year when most US Consumers spend the most money, be it shopping for others or even for themselves with all the sales and deals retail stores have. The earlier you can start saving for the holidays, the better.
Have a large circle of friends? It might be more beneficial for everyone to do a Secret Santa to exchange gifts, that way you only have to buy for one person and not everyone.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday
The best deals for holiday shopping are usually on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you are one of the brave willing to attempt Black Friday holiday shopping, check out blackfriday.com to find out where the best deals are for the items on your holiday shopping list.
In addition, Cyber Monday has continuously become more and more popular every year, and cybermonday.com has online shopping deals with many retailers year-round. Usually, shopping online during the holiday season comes with free shipping, but be sure to browse through multiple retail websites to be sure you’re getting the best deal.
Do Your Homework
Before making purchases, make sure you’re paying the best price possible for each item. There will be deals that pop up during any time of the year for particular items, but you can save additional money by researching ahead of time.
Clean Out Your Closet
Some people may find leftover wrapping paper, bows, and gift bags in their closets from last year that were unused – use it so you don’t have to spend on the same materials this year.
If you’re creative and/or artistic, you might be able to make something yourself for a gift for someone special. You might be able to knit a sweater or hat for someone, or make a great painting, or write and perform a song. In the end, it’s the thought that counts with holiday gift-giving, and this is a great heartfelt way to both show someone you care and also save.
Cut Back on Extras
During the holiday season, we generally tend to spend more on everything as consumers, which includes getting that extra cup of coffee or going out to eat more. Keep in mind that doing this often does add up and could be a big chunk of change through the entire holiday season.
Spend on Yourself
While holiday shopping, you might see something nice that you really want for yourself- don’t be afraid to treat yourself! Be sure to set aside money for yourself to spend while you are shopping when you make your budget. If you know ahead of time that you want something, put it on your shopping list as well.
Make a Shopping List
After you figure out how much you are spending and who you need to buy for, make a shopping list. By making a list, you can cross or check off items as you buy them, and it’ll also keep you from impulse buying while you’re at the store.