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How to Save During the Holiday Season

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The holiday season has officially started. The holiday season can bring very happy moments in your life and you should celebrate the season with family and friends. However the holiday season brings obvious expenses that can put stress into your life, especially if you haven’t budgeted for them. Below are several ways to save money during the holiday season and you can instead focus on bringing joy into your life.

Make a budget: A holiday budget is a must have and helps you not overspend during the holiday season. However, there are a few specific things that you need to consider when creating a budget. First thing is you do not want to set a budget that is too tight. While that may be a good intention, this may not give you enough flexibility to make last minute purchases or spend money on your family, such as parents, kids, wife, etc. Do some thorough research and analysis when you are putting together your budget. Second important thing is to not forget the various expenses including travel, parties, donations, and other holiday-themed activities. While these expenses may be minor individually, in total, they can add up to quite a bit. Make sure you account for all of these expenses in your budget.

Track spending: After you have creating a budget, make sure you track your spending. If you don’t, there was no purpose in putting your budget together. Many people keep a separate holiday fund in a bank account, which makes it easier to track your spending. Spreadsheets and several spending apps would work as well. Try to remain diligent and keep track of your expenses in real-time.

Reduce spending on discretionary or excessive spending: During the holidays many people indulge on spending extra for yourself, or your family and friends. While that is important, you don’t necessarily have to buy drinks for your entire workforce or buy presents for yourself. That money could have gone to your travel expenses or presents for your family and friends.

Make traditions less expensive: Traditions are what makes the holidays great! They can also break your budget. In today’s age, there are so many activities that are inexpensive or free, you just need to do some research! Some cheap activities can include touring the neighborhood for holiday lights, watching a movie at home, baking together, reading holiday stories, caroling, and playing games as a family.

Do your homework and start your holiday spending early: Depending on what gifts you are going to buy and what holiday expenses are in store for your budget, starting to research and making purchases early in the year can help you save a lot of money. Also if you start saving earlier in the year, you will have more to spend during the holiday season. 

Instead of gifts, give something homemade and personal: Everyone loves something new and expensive, but something homemade and personal can also show your gratitude and love. This also enables you to save a lot of money during the holidays. This can include something perishable like cookies, cakes, or other baked goods. This can also include jewelry, pottery, custom ornaments, or a painting if you are a crafty person. If it comes from the heart, I am sure the person you are giving it to will love it!

Get cheap wrapping paper: Most people do not care what the wrapping of their present is. Go to the dollar store to get wrapping paper, ribbons, cards, bows, etc. If you give a lot of giifts, this can save you a lot of money.

Cook in during the holidays instead of eating out: Eating out is always going to cost a lot of money and ruin budgets. As long as you are eating and spending time with family and friends, decide to eat in instead of eating at a restaurant. You can even try potluck where everyone brings one or two dishes. That way your expenses will be minimal for that meal. 

Overall, it is very easy to overspend during the holidays. If you put a plan in place and keep a very close eye on your spending, you can be successful! Focus on areas you can reduce spending and try to invest time in your relationships instead of material gifts. 

Does anyone else have any good holiday season saving tips? Please feel free to share!

 

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Sunday, 16 December 2018