The holidays can be painfully expensive, especially with the gift-giving and home decorating. So, is it possible to save up and spend less money during the holidays? You bet it is. Alpha Car Finance gives you tips on how to save extra bucks while still being able to celebrate the festive season.
1. Start preparing at least 2-3 months before the holidays
This way, you can score gifts and décor items from warehouse and mall sales for much lower prices. Last minute shopping can make you spend on the first thing that you see, making it impossible for you to find great deals. List down the things that you are planning to buy for each and every one of your friends and family, so you wouldn’t have to be in a rush once shopping time comes.
2. Never underestimate DIY gifts
Not only is it more thoughtful, but it’s also way cheaper than buying ready-to-use stuff for your loved ones. You can bake cookies or cakes (if you’re into baking), print a “gift card” or “coupon” for your sister to use whenever she needs you to babysit her kids or drive them somewhere, or simply offer to do the house chores. As they always say: “It’s the thought that counts”.
3. Track your spending
Make sure to list everything: from the most expensive down to the smallest thing that you bought. If you want, you can keep a separate “Holiday bank account”. This way, you will not exceed your allotted budget for your holiday shopping. Spreadsheets are also a big help when it comes to tracking your expenses.
4. Alter your yearly traditions and make them cheaper
You might love treating your kids every holiday by giving them expensive gifts, but your bills automatically pile up after, making it hard for you to deal with other expenses. Change it up by giving them the extra time that they have been asking for. You can give them “surprise gifts” by visiting other houses in the village and marveling at their decors, spending the evening with your kids by watching a movie that they love, baking together, or even simply going to the mall and window shopping. They might actually love this more than those expensive gifts that they are used to receiving!
5. Have a potluck party with your family
You can assign a dish to each household, so no one brings the same thing to the party. This is actually more fun and brings the family together, making the holiday season more festive and special.
6. Send electronic cards. Many of these are very affordable. You could even write a special dedication to the person you’re sending it to, to make it even more special!
7. Lastly, remember the real reason we are celebrating every event or holiday. Forget the gifts and just spend time with your family! Visit your grandma and grandpa, your parents, and your siblings. Show that you care, and that you love being around them.
Spend your holidays wisely. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!