The holidays should be a time of fun, family, and fellowship. Sadly, reckless holiday spending can take a toll on our bank accounts, transforming the season from joyful… to stressful.
According to Gallup, Americans spend more than $800 on gifts alone every year. Add on travel, holiday foods, and decorations, and the costs can rise rapidly. Cut the stress and take control of your spending this holiday season with these money-saving tips:
- Turn your annual holiday party into a potluck. There’s no need for your traditional holiday bash to break the bank. Cut down on party costs by asking your guests to contribute sides, desserts, beverages, or even festive decorations.
- Set spending limits on gifts. Before you set out to do your holiday shopping, make a list of people you want to buy gifts for - and set firm spending limits for each. If you stick to the plan, you’ll limit impulse spending.
- Keep an eye out for seasonal sales. Take advantage of in-store or online holiday sales while you’re shopping for gifts. You can even set email or text alerts for hot deals from retailers year-round, and buy gifts throughout the year. Caution: Make sure you’re not spending money on something you don’t need just to get the deal!
- Suggest a family gift exchange. Why buy five gifts when you could buy one? Gift exchanges are easier than ever thanks to websites or apps that keep track of the process, rather than you manually drawing names out of a hat. The whole crew will be grateful for saving them time and money!
- Plan any holiday travel in advance, especially if you’re flying to your destination. Flights are often cheaper the earlier you book them. Don’t forget to use travel apps or websites to compare prices and get the best deal when you book.
- Recycle your decorations from last year. Trees, lights, wreaths, and other holiday décor essentials can add up quickly. Do your best to keep them all in good shape and packed away in marked boxes, so you can dust them off and reuse them year after year.
- Try your hand at DIY! There’s nothing more meaningful than a gift you made yourself. Instead of buying an expensive gift, bake some homemade cookies or craft a cute decoration for the special people in your life.