As we have now entered into the month of November, this moves us much closer to the upcoming holiday season. While you may be excited about the holidays and everything that it entails, another aspect on your mind may also be the amount of money that you will likely be spending this time of year – as this holiday above many others can be on the expensive side.
Therefore, if it is your goal to try and save some money while you gear up for this lovely holiday season – then making a few changes and implementing some simple spending strategies this year can really make a big difference and help you stretch your hard earn money even further – also lessening your post holiday debt.
Read on to learn about 5 ways that can help you save during the holiday season.
1. Preparing a Budget
In order to save some money before you go out and shop you will want to begin with setting up a holiday budget. While the goal may be the same – there are actually several different methods of designing your holiday budget. While, one way is to set an overall spending cap – another is to identify how much money you will be able to spend on each specific area, including individual gifts for each person you have to buy for, meals, decorations, etc.
Also as you are preparing your budget you will want to be sure not to set one that is unrealistic, as his is just basically setting yourself up for failure. All in all, when you are designated a spending cap or the individual expenditures method, you will want to have some leeway or some wiggle room to work with.
Furthermore, you can approach this budget by really thinking about which specific costs you will prioritize, as well as how much you really need to spend on each item. For example, do you need to spend $100 on wine/alcohol – or could you cut this down in half and only spend $50 instead? All in all, this way of assessing which items you need and which ones you can either limit or remove from your holiday list can help you save some money this season.
2. Tracking your Spending
Second to budgeting, you also need to make sure to track what you are spending over the holidays. If you can’t follow through effectively with this task then what is basically happening, is that your budget won’t really mean much in the end either.
Fortunately, in this day in age there are plenty of tools that can help you track what you are spending – there are mobile apps and computer software programs that can enable you to see precisely where your money is going and how much you are spending at each and every point throughout the day/week/month.
Ultimately by tracking your expenses in ‘real-time’ you can stay on track with your holiday spending and lessen the risk of exceeding these amounts you have set in your budget.
3. Adjusting Your Gift Giving Approach
Another method of saving some money this festive season is to refine your approach to gift gifting. While it may be that in the past you have had to buy for all members of your families as well as friends and friend’s children, etc. – while it may feel nice to give a gift to everyone, however if your goal is to save some money this year, then unfortunately, this may not be possible. With that being said, what many families and friends out there also tend to do is to opt to have a secret santa gift exchange, where you draw a name from a hat and then buy for that one family members or friends. Now, doesn’t that sound like a good way to save a bit extra this year??
While, giving kids to you family members and friend’s children can still be an enjoyable part of the holiday and a traditional you will still participate in, then let this secret santa idea be a fun way to spread some additional holiday cheer among the adults in your life as well.
4. Turning Your Holiday Meals into a Potluck
Another holiday tradition you can adjust in order make your holidays more economical is to institute potluck meals. As well in the past you may be used to preparing a large meal for your entire family, and while this may provide you with a lot of enjoyment, it is also likely to set you back a great deal of money. When you factor in all of the different dishes, the beverages, the amount of cooking you will be doing – it can overwhelm both you and your wallet.
Alternatively, you could decide to start the tradition of having a potluck dinner, where everyone who attends contributes one dish. That way you can and share the work and the expenses with others in your life – while piecing together one really delicious meal for all to enjoy.
5. Knowing When & Where to Shop
An additionally method of saving some extra money this holiday season is to be conscious of when the best times are to shop as well as where to go to save money and avoid overspending. Here timing can be everything, as they say and by planning ahead and going to the mall or the shops – or the internet when the sales may be the best can help you save some money.
Being diligent in your shopping can help you avoid impulse buys as well as overdoing it on the sales that may be you end up overspending in the end anyways. Having a list and going to the mall and buying everything all in one false swoop or shopping a little bit at a time is your preferred method – either way you don’t want to be making too many trips to the store, especially when this can lead to you buying more than you actually need.
The temptation of the holiday season is a real thing – and since stores are throwing out all the stops to entice people to buy their products around the holidays you may fall victim to this approach. If so, then going into this process being prepared and being as efficient as possible with you shopping may help you in your endeavours to save money and not exceed the budget you have set for yourself.
The reality of it is, that it is certainly far too easy to overspend this holiday season. Instead, do your best to let the spirit of the holiday remain more of a feeling and a time to spend with loved ones – and less about shopping. In the end, it is not worth going into debt because you want to keep up with all of the traditions you have become accustomed to or what you think everyone else is doing.
Instead, stick to your holiday budget and remember that being strategic and thoughtful in your spending can mean that your finances can stay more ‘in tacked’ and come January you won’t be crawling out from under a pile of debt.