The holiday season is upon us, which means significantly more spending—and more potential to encounter financial trouble. Because of the emotional play many retailers use to get you to buy from their stores, it’s important to be overly mindful of your spending during this time. Thankfully, enjoying the holidays and saving money (or at least living within your means) aren’t mutually exclusive. Therefore, below are 6 effortless ways to save money while still enjoying the holidays!
1. Decide how much you can spend and make a plan
I know that many people don’t like the word “budget” because it’s intimidating and feels restrictive. However, creating a holiday budget or “making a financial plan,” as we’ll call it here for all intents and purposes, is crucial during the holiday season. By making a plan, you’re avoiding overspending and essentially telling your money what to do—rather than allowing it to be in control.
With that, start by prioritizing and narrowing down your gift-giving list. It can be easy to get caught up in the fun of the season and want to buy something for everyone you’re close to. Let us remind you (as cheesy as it sounds) that presents are not what the holiday season is about. Take a look at your holiday list and be honest about what you can afford. Of course, it’s not the most fun, but your loved ones don’t want you to hinder your financial future for them.
2. Stop unnecessary spending
Cutting back on expenses during the holiday season—or even before—will give you more money to allocate towards the holidays. And they don’t even have to be major expenses to see a positive difference in your savings account! Simply small changes such as avoiding take-out a couple of times a week, making coffee at home instead of running through a drive-thru, or finding cheaper alternatives when spending time with your girlfriends instead of going out for drinks will save extra cash and make a big difference in your budget!
3. Get creative
Get creative and fun with your gifts! Being creative is about understanding that you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to show your loved ones you care. There are many people who are more appreciative of the thought that goes into a handcrafted gift than a purchased item from a big box store. Being thoughtful can have a lasting and more memorable effect than breaking the bank. Trust me!
You’re able to make gifts more personal and unique in a way that money couldn’t typically buy. Such as spending quality time with an elderly relative, offering to babysit for your friend for free, or even making a loved one some of the best-tasting, homemade treats are just a few ideas!
4. Shop online
This one is obvious, I know! But if you’re wanting to save money on presents make sure you shop online (or at least do some research before you hit the shops)! Most retailers give you a discount coupon when you sign up for their email list (you can always unsubscribe later!) and it’s much easier to look through lots of similar items to find the very best (and cheapest) one for your friend or relative. Also, many online retailers also do flash sales before, during, and after Black Friday!
Not to mention, online shopping and saving have come a long way over the years. Today’s technology has made it so that all shoppers need to do is shop and the coupon savings are deducted automatically at the checkout screen. With the browser extension Honey, that unlocks the internet’s best deals and coupon codes. and instantly finds you the best price possible. Honey works on more than 40,000 different stores such as Macy’s, Sephora, Nordstrom, Target, and even Amazon!
5. Pause reoccurring subscriptions
If you have a number of recurring subscriptions, like Netflix, Audible, Hulu, or Spotify, try canceling them or putting them on pause for a few months. Then, set up an automatic transfer to a holiday savings account to make sure that money gets earmarked for your holiday budget.
Sure, the charges may seem insignificant when looking at your holiday spending, but even making these small changes will help offset some of your spendings. Plus, you’ll probably be so busy these last few weeks before the weather turns, you might not even miss them.
6. Don’t feel guilty
I don’t want to tell you where or how to spend money and where to save these holidays. All I’m really hoping to do is to get you thinking about what you really want and creating a plan to get it. If the holidays are YOUR time of year, don’t be afraid to enjoy them. But if the enjoyment comes with guilt, it’s not pure enjoyment. Find ways to spend during the holidays that leave you feeling amazing and guilt-free. The future-you will thank you! 💛
Do you have any money-saving tips for the holidays that you personally use?
Let know in the comments!