It's that time of year again! Halloween has passed, and the holiday season is on the horizon. The holidays are a time for gathering and joy, but it can be financially stressful at the same time. With the cost of gifts, travel, and food, it's easy to overspend. With a bit of planning, it's possible to save money for the holidays so when the season rolls around, you are better prepared. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you save for the holidays.
Start setting aside money for holiday gifts at the beginning of the year. If you start saving earlier, your money will have more time to grow. If you can start saving in January or February, you'll be well on your way to having a comfortable holiday budget by December. It's also smart to allocate a certain section of your budget for gift-giving year-round for events like birthdays, weddings, etc. While holiday shopping might not come to mind until October or November (maybe even December), it's great to start thinking about it even at the end of the summer. You can also spread out your spending this way so it doesn't seem like you are spending so much at once.
Set a Budget:
Once you have a good understanding of your current financial situation, set a budget for how much you can afford to spend on the holidays. This will help you stay on track and avoid overspending. There's no 'magic number' that you should spend on each person. Only do what is manageable and attainable for you!
Make a List, Check It Twice:
Before you start adding items to your cart, make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for and how much you want to spend on each person. That way, you can stay more focused and avoid impulse purchases. Perhaps you agree with your friends to buy birthday gifts instead of holiday gifts. Come up with creative solutions!
Look for Deals:
Don't just buy the first gift you see; shop around and compare prices before purchasing. Many retailers offer sales throughout the holiday season. If you're waiting until closer to the holidays, take advantage of discounted days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday! You can also save money by shopping at discount stores, signing up for email lists, and following your favorite stores on social media so you'll be the first to know about upcoming sales.
Cash or Card:
A lot of people have different philosophies on credit cards, debit cards, cash, etc. If you're a credit card user, this could be a great time to cash in on any cashback rewards you may have! Whether you want to redeem a gift card for a family member or simply use those rewards for holiday travel, there are many options that can help you have a more stress-free holiday shopping experience.
Remember, one of the best gifts you can give your family and friends is just time spent together! Gifts don't have to be extravagant. It's the thought that counts. This year, we hope you can embrace the spirit of the season without worrying about financial strain.