The holiday season is full of so many things – joy, happiness, magic, and togetherness. The holiday season can also be busy, a little stressful and yes – pricey! Thankfully, we have some ideas to help you break into the holiday spirit without breaking the bank.
When the Season is “Off”, the Savings are “On”
Want to avoid big spending and big crowds over the holidays? We see you nodding! Well, here’s an idea. Try shopping after the first of the year for next year! Now, we know what you may be thinking: “You want me to think about next year now?” And as odd as it may seem to think about buying new holiday items in January, this is when retailers slash prices on unsold inventory to make room for the next season’s items.
So, let’s go at this with an open-mind. After all, if your New Year’s resolution is to save more money, why not start in January? You’ll be off to a great start. You may save a lot of money and think of how stress-free next December will be. Check! Check! And, Check!
Rethink Gift Giving
Giving gifts to your friends and family is always fun! But, if you have a big family or a large friend network, spreading joy can really add up.
So instead of buying something for everyone, how about buying for only one or two people? Hosting a white elephant gift exchange, Secret Santa or other gifting activity can be a fun and memorable way to spread the holiday joy while taking it easy on your wallet. Everyone gets something, everyone has fun, and you can breathe deep knowing you didn’t overdo it.
The holiday season is one of the busiest times to travel and it’s no secret that peak demand equals peak prices. Thankfully, there are some tips and tricks that can save your holiday travel bucks.
First tip for traveling: Plan ahead. Experts advise purchasing your flight before the end of October as prices will start increasing in November. Or, if you are able and willing, fly on the day of the actual holiday as demand tends to take a steep dip.
The itinerary you choose is another factor that can help you save. It turns out flights may actually be up to 12 percent cheaper when you fly on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays instead of weekends. So if you’d like to save some dough, consider becoming a “mid-week flyer.” It’s a pretty cool title too.
Get Organized & Resourceful with Holiday Meals
An extravagant feast around the dinner table can be the best part of your holiday tradition, not to mention the tastiest. But, if you don’t plan properly, it might also be the most expensive. No dinner host wants to hear “cha ching” in their head every time they take a bite. So, our best advice to avoid overspending on the menu is to make a list (and check it twice) of what you need. Shopping lists tend to reduce purchases because it gives shoppers a goal. Shopping on the fly is a fast way to overspend. Stick to a list to save time and money!
Not sure what to prepare? Try a delicious menu with household ingredients. Use what’s already in your pantry or refrigerator.
Finally, if you’re hosting a large family gathering, consider a potluck style event. Everyone contributes which means spreading out the costs (and work)! You’ll have a lovely buffet of various choices and the cleanup will be much easier too!
The best way to reduce your spending and your stress over the holidays is to keep things simple. Nice doesn’t have to mean expensive. Savings in one area will give you flexibility in another.
Interested in other ways you can save money beyond the holiday season? Check out our Smart Money page.