After having to quit my job this year due to Mental Health reasons, I have been doing everything that I can to stretch every dollar enough to make the ends meet while still having a little money left for emergencies.
And I tell you, doing that is definitely not easy. This year has been one heck of a ride — a lot of bumps, turns, and downs on our finances.
It caused me a lot of sleepless nights, a bucket load of stress and never-ending worries.
But thankfully, we are making it through.
Now with the holidays right around the corner, I definitely don’t want to jeopardize our finances and of course, sink us further into debt.
I knew that if I wanted to keep our budget intact and avoid holiday debt, I needed to plan ahead and start looking for ways to stick to the budget and still be able to continue saving money this holiday season.
Because let’s face it, holidays are AMAZING (it’s my favorite time of the year) but it can also become very expensive.
Things can easily get out of hand and your budget can easily go out the window.
So, to avoid that from happening, I have decided to gather 6 Proven Tips to help you Save Money this Holiday Season.
Check them out!
Create a Holiday Budget
I don’t know about you but I often have a bad habit of planning the perfect Christmas without even considering what I can afford.
I often let myself get ahead of planning all the gifts for the family, creating the perfect menu without even considering how I’m paying for it in the first place. I know, sounds silly, right?
This year, I didn’t want to make the same mistake and I know creating a holiday budget will help solve this problem.
So, instead of letting yourself plan the perfect Christmas, ask yourself first this question: What can I afford to spend on Christmas?
Set a specific amount of what you’re willing to spend on that day then you can plan your Christmas around that amount.
Keep in mind that Christmas is just one day, you don’t want to ruin your whole year for it.
Create a list
Being organized can definitely help you save money. So, take the time to sit down and make a list of everything that you intend to spend money on. Break it down into categories, from food, decorations, gifts and travel expenses.
Think of everything that you need before the big day and put it on the list.
And once your list is finished and you’ve already checked it, it’s time to stop shopping. Recognize that your list is finished and try to avoid stopping by the mall to avoid the temptation of spending more.
By planning your purchases ahead of time and of course, sticking to it you can be saved from jeopardizing your finances and from the dreaded holiday debt.
Track your spending
Holiday season or not, your budget does you no good if you are not tracking your spending.
Especially when you are shopping for Christmas, it’s just so easy to get carried away and just mindlessly spend. Tracking your spending can easily help you avoid this from happening.
It makes you aware of where every dollar goes and how much money you have left on your budget.
I find that keeping a separate bank account for the holidays helps me keep my finances organize and it’s a lot easier for me to keep track of my spending.
Don’t be afraid to shop early
Most of us tend to do all our Christmas shopping at the last minute (I do) but I knew that if I wanted to be able to save money and still find the perfect gift this year, starting my Christmas shopping as early as now is definitely the best route to go.
For starters, waiting until the last minute to do all your Christmas shopping does not only causes you stress but it also often leads to you making haste and bad decisions that could very much jeopardize your entire budget.
Doing your Christmas shopping early gives you more time to scout the perfect gift and still keep your budget in mind.
Also, buying Christmas stuff from between now until Christmas allows you to spread the cost over a longer period of time, making it less likely for you to overspend.
Be smart in your gift spending
I have a habit of overspending and going overboard when it comes to gift giving. Now, I know this year if I don’t want to bury myself further into debt, that needs to change.
One way to change this is to suggest to your loved ones to set a limit on how much money you will spend on gifts. Doing this will help you keep your budget under control and avoid overspending.
If you have a large extended family, instead of buying gifts for 15 people, you can all participate in a secret Santa gift exchange for adults instead. In that way, you will only have to buy a gift for that one person.
I know that the holidays often put a lot of pressure on us to spend big on gifts but always remember that pricey gift isn’t the only way to go.
Share the Cost of Holiday Meals
We all know that the cost of entertaining this time of year can easily get out of control. With all the lunch and dinner parties that you may need to host.
And if you’re on a tight budget, like me, then that simply won’t do.
If you are usually the one hosting Christmas Day lunch or dinner, there is definitely no need for you to shoulder everything.
Don’t be shy in telling people what they can bring. Don’t be afraid to embrace the idea of potluck assignments. Let other people know to bring food or drinks in that way everyone can share in the cost of the celebration.
And one more thing….
Don’t forget to spread holiday cheer. Remember that Christmas is the spirit of giving without any thought of receiving. There are so many people in need. Whether it is a monetary or emotional need.
So, let’s all spread extra holiday cheer and try to make someone’s holiday even a little more wonderful. It’s not always about material things, be creative and think of other ways you can brighten someone’s holiday.
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” — H. Jackson Brown Jr.
It is so easy to get caught up in the overspending cycle especially on holiday season. But remember, the perfect Christmas is not based on how much money you spend, as long as you spend it with the people that you love — that is what truly matters.
What about you? How do you plan to save money this holiday season? Let me know in the comment section below or send me an email, I would love to hear from you!!