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People are always looking for ways to save money during the holidays but I think that stands true more than ever this year.
Practically everyone is looking for ways to stretch a buck. I’m hoping these tips help make the holidays financially easier to get through this year.
Shop Online Deals
This year more than ever the deals are HOT and they are starting early.
Companies are fighting to gain your business and are offering killer deals throughout the entire holiday season. They aren’t limiting them to Black Friday and Cyber Monday anymore.
What Stores are Having Christmas Sales?
In short, all of them. Given these times, everyone is fighting for sales.
Check all the major retailers to compare deals. Be sure that before you pull the trigger, don’t forget to see the deals your mom and pop shops are offering.
They truly need business more than ever. Buying from them could help keep their doors open and food on their families table.
Draw Names for Christmas
This will save you BIG, especially when you have a big family.
Years ago my family started this tradition and it’s so much nicer to not have to buy a million different gifts and have to file bankruptcy (not really) as a direct result of buying Christmas gifts for everyone.
We put every ‘family’ into a bowl and draw names. There’s a limit set on how much to spend and everyone sticks to it.
You can either buy something that the whole family will enjoy (which we tend to do) or you can buy individual gifts for each member of the family.
Is There a Way to Do a Virtual Name Draw?
Yes. I’d suggest downloading Secret Santa 22: Gift Exchange.
This app will allow you to:
- create different groups you may be doing a gift exchange with
- set the gift delivery date
- set a fixed budget
- send messages to others in the group
Set a Budget and Stick to It
I just mentioned having a budget when buying Christmas gifts but budgeting can extend past that.
Other things you can consider placing a budget on during the holidays can include:
- party supplies
- food costs
- travel expenses
I think the best way to stick to a holiday budget is to use a spreadsheet and be sure to track all of your expenses.
Even the best budgeters struggle around the holidays because it’s so easy to get into the spirit of Christmas and lose your self-control when it comes to spending.
I’m personally guilty of this because I love getting people things I know that they’ll love. I’ve had to basically train myself to stop doing this but it has definitely been much more beneficial for my bank account.
Skip the Stocking Stuffers
Stocking stuffers are a tradition that goes back many generations. Personally, I stopped doing them years ago.
I find that you tend to spend a lot of money on tiny little gifts that don’t really matter to the person on the receiving end.
Yes, it might be cute and it may be thoughtful but most likely it will get tossed, regifted, or thrown in the back of a closet and never used.
Save your money.
I found that I’m saving at least $100, if not more, by not getting stocking stuffers.
Stop Sending Holiday Cards
Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love being surprised by receiving a card in the mail?
In reality, though, sending out holiday cards can be quite expensive. The list of recipients always seems to grow longer every year along with the cost of postage.
It’s a great gesture and personally has always been a tradition of mine but I haven’t done it the past couple of years and no one has died as a result.
(Yes, that was dramatic to say but I’m driving home the point that it truly is an unnecessary cost during the holiday season.)
If anything, opt for finding an e-card template to send out or write a personalized email. Completely free and just as effective.
Limit the Baked Goods
Baking cookies is one of the most popular holiday traditions that people do. Every year people pick their favorite holiday treats, usually dedicate an entire weekend to baking, and they make every Christmas treat under the sun.
I personally make about 20 different cookies and then pack them up and give them to my family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, mailman, garbage man, and whoever else I deem worthy of receiving a tin full of my hard work.
I don’t think of it as work as much as I do quality time with the people I love and a time to create memories that will last a lifetime.
I’d suggest cutting back if you share a similar tradition in your home.
I’ve decided to pick my 3 favorite cookies to make this year and I will be limiting the amount I make and who I pass them out to. Not because I don’t care about or don’t appreciate the people who would typically receive them but because money is much tighter than usual.
A lot of people are in a similar situation and this is a great way to cut back on unnecessary costs. Baking is surprisingly quite expensive when trying to get the special ingredients needed for each individual cookie.
Cancel Your Travel Plans
You may be used to traveling every holiday season but why not change your plans this year?
Maybe your traditions involve going to visit family or you use this time of year to take a family vacation. Whatever your travel plans may include, why not change them up.
Maybe invite your family to your home for a change of pace or take your family trip another time of year when travel isn’t as expensive.
This doesn’t have to be a permanent change but definitely an option to consider when money is tight.
My Thoughts on How to Save Money During the Holidays
Decide what is best for your financial situation and stick to it. Don’t feel guilty for setting limits. Nobody should have to deal with the stress that comes along with the financial burden the holidays can bring.
Focus on what’s most important and that’s spending time with your family. Don’t go bankrupt trying to show your love. Create lasting memories because they are worth so much more than anything you could ever buy.