While the festive season is a time to celebrate and bond with loved ones, making merry will be the farthest thing from your mind if you’re broke. That’s why we’ve put together this financial survival guide to help you make the most of the holiday season, no matter what your tax bracket is.
- Shop sales
There’s no better time to shop on a budget than during the holiday season. You have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even December 20th. But, you should also shop sales throughout the year because the earlier you start, the easier it will be for you to find those amazing deals.
If you find something on sale during the year, buy it and stash it away so you can check it off your gift list and not have to worry about buying it for a higher price later. If you don’t have the cash for it immediately, consider quick cash loans that are easy to pay off.
- DIY everything
Save money by making DIY gifts like salt scrubs, sugar scrubs, cookies, photo collages, and calendars. Think outside the box and come up with creative gifts that won’t have people scratching their heads. Favor gifts are always a hit, and as a bonus, they’re super simple to make. A good example of a favor gift would be a coupon book that allows the receiver to claim a free foot massage, homemade dinner, or back rub. Think about what the other person likes and come up with a gift that’ll make them feel special.
- Host a potluck
Throwing a Christmas party can be expensive, and it’s made worse by the fact that you’re the only one footing the bill. Consider splitting the cost by hosting a potluck instead. That way, everyone can bring a dish and share the load.
- Limit gifts
A lot of people assume that the holidays are all about gift-giving, but there’s far more to it than that. An increasing number of people now prefer experiential gifts instead of gadgets and other products that become clutter in the home.
An experiential gift doesn’t have to be a trip to the Maldives (although there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s within your budget). It could be something as simple as taking someone out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Or, you could go sledding, decorate Christmas cookies, surprise your neighbors by going caroling, or pop some corn and do a Christmas movie marathon.
Gift cards, event tickets, and park passes are all experience-based gifts that’ll help you prevent clutter while saving money.
- Set a budget
The holiday season is arguably the most expensive time of year, and it’s impossible to stay on budget when you don’t have a spending plan. Luckily, Christmas is an annual event, which means it’s predictable enough for you to plan for it beforehand.
Set a budget with specific goals, considering what your celebrations will look like and how you plan to contribute. It helps to use a budget worksheet to organize your spending list, and you can easily find budget templates and tools to help you online.
The holiday season should not be about buying and accumulating stuff. It should be about making memories with your loved ones, so remember to enjoy the non-tangible gifts that come with celebrating the silly season. Be sure to follow the budgeting tips offered in this article as they can help you save money and have a more meaningful holiday season with your family, free from the stress of going into debt.