With a little forward thinking and planning, you can make the holidays joyful and fun, rather than stressful and rushed. Use these budgeting tips to save lots of money on presents, food, drinks and cards.
Create a holiday budget
It is easy to get caught up in all of the festivities and excitement of the holidays, but you can create a budget to make sure you to stay on track financially. No one plans on spending extra money, but when you see the December sales and discounts it can be tempting to pick up a few extra gifts. Sit down and write down all of your holiday expenses, from food to presents to gasoline. Then you can decide how much you want to spend on each. Make sure you are realistic about how much you can afford! This is useful as you can see exactly how much you will spend, and you can make sure that you don’t end up spending too much.
Use vouchers and coupons
If you try to save money all year round, you are probably already aware of the benefits of using coupons and vouchers. Lots of people dismiss them as they think they only save pennies, but you can actually save a lot of money with them (which is really useful during expensive times like the holidays). Look online to see if there are any coupons available for the stores that you know you will shop at. Children’s toy stores often offer coupons and vouchers, so it is likely that you will be able to save a considerable amount on presents.
Buy ingredients at a cheaper supermarket
Sometimes people get into a habit of buying all of their food at one store. While this is a convenient habit, it can also be an expensive one. Cheaper stores often offer the same quality of food at a lower price, especially if you look around for the best options. Christmas dinner is already a fairly expensive meal; save some money this year by buying your food from cheaper stores, and organic markets. The food will taste just as good, but you’ll have more money in your wallet.
Go easy on the gift-buying
One of the biggest expenses of the holiday season are presents; don’t go overboard and spend even more than you need to. Don’t head to the high street without a plan, as you are more likely to buy lots of expensive presents. Write down the people you need to buy gifts for, and buy one gift for each. Take the time to compare gift options, so you know you are getting the best option.
Sell gifts from last year
At some point everyone has received a gift that they didn’t really need or want. Most people put the gifts out of sight, never to be used again, but it is thriftier to sell them online. If you received a perfume you don’t like, or shoes that are the wrong size, don’t worry about being rude - sell it online! The gift wouldn’t have been used either way, and the extra money can help to pay for new gifts this year.
Sometimes it is difficult to choose gifts for people, as they already have everything that they both need and want. If you are struggling to choose gifts for people, get crafty and make them something, like a card or a piece of jewelry. Not only is it cheaper, people will also appreciate the effort you made; they are more likely to treasure a homemade gift than a shop-bought gift.
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