Creating some holiday magic for yourself and other people is tough to do without breaking the bank. To help you, we’ve come up with these useful tips to keep your bank manager happy.
Budgeting is Your Friend
When you enter the holiday season still with gifts to purchase and food shopping to do, then you’re just in time. Before the spending gets completely crazy, the smartest thing you can do right now is to sit down and make a budget.
The budget can just cover the Christmas holiday spending or be broader ranging. It may even start a new habit for you. But it’s important to write your budget on a piece of paper or a Google Sheets document on the computer or smartphone. This ensures you don’t overspend on some gifts and not have enough money left over for the others, which inevitably means you’ll shortchange a loved one on their gift or run short in your checking account.
Avoid the stress by budgeting and keeping to it.
Look for the Sales and Shop Smarter
There are sale items and loss leaders in major supermarket chains and online too. The sales aren’t just Black Friday and Cyber Monday! You must look for discounts in different retail stores using your list of items to buy from your budget (see our first tip). Also, keep a look out for attractive freebies online too. They change all the time, so check for updates often to avoid missing out!
Comparison shop in the stores and check online before making each purchase to verify you’re getting the cheapest price. Waiting a few days for the item to arrive from an online store is still going to be fine.
Pick and choose between upmarket ranges and economy buys. You can choose between going somewhere in the middle and never having the best of anything, or mixing and matching to get top quality on what you care about and just the basics on items you have no passion for.
Give E-Gifts and E-Cards to Distant Relatives & Friends
When you have more cards and gifts to buy than you have money, then switch up the gift giving to people who are a more distant but still valued friends and relatives.
Instead of buying a gift, having it gift wrapped (or doing it yourself to save money) and sending it with a card, go the gift certificate route. This usually saves considerable money versus the traditional gift value, along with the price of a card and delivery when added up over several people.
Doing this leaves more to put into festivities at home to create some holiday magic there. Also, if you have a partner or kids who have their eye set on something that’s a little pricey, then this may save enough to be able to treat them.
Meeting People During the Holidays? Meet at Lunchtime…
When you have plans to meet friend that you only see once or twice a year around the holidays or birthdays, then meet them for lunch and not dinner.
Meeting for lunch tends to cut down on the amount spent on the meal and drinks. It prevents the lunchtime meeting dragging on longer than is comfortable in the same way that an evening dining appointment can do.
Also, pick a more affordable restaurant if you have previously selected those that were at the top of your budget range. You can tell them that it’s an expensive holiday season and you’re trying to cut back, so would they mind if you met somewhere more affordable for lunch? Maybe suggest a couple of popular local restaurants, so they can pick the one they prefer.
Once you keep the money in check, you’ll have a much easier time enjoying the holidays and not stressing about them.