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Ideas For Saving Money During The Holidays

Ideas For Saving Money During The Holidays

November 30, 2023    Budgeting Advice

From gifts to decorations to travel to food – the holidays are a time when it’s very easy to overspend. Even though it feels good to spend money on holiday cheer, that feeling is only temporary if you end up blowing your budget. Overspending will likely bring feelings of stress later on once the holiday lights are taken down. Here are some ideas for saving money and avoiding extra debt this holiday season.

CREATE A BUDGET

Setting a holiday budget and sticking to it is the first thing you should consider if you are looking to save money. Make a list of all the things you need to purchase including gifts, food, decorations and travel costs. Don’t forget things like holiday cards, stamps and charitable donations. Make sure to add a little extra for those unplanned purchases that are likely to happen.

CUT BACK IF NEEDED

Once you’ve made your budget, it’s good to take a step back and make sure the things you’ve budgeted for are actually affordable within your current financial situation. To ease any strain, try cutting back on extras for a month or two – maybe that means cutting out your daily fancy coffee or eating out less.

EDIT YOUR LIST

Make a list and check it twice! In other words, edit the holiday list you made and evaluate if anything isn’t a must-have. For example, maybe that new Christmas tree can wait until next year and the older one in storage can make do for one more holiday season.

Also, take another look at the list of the people you want to buy gifts for. A good rule of thumb is to determine what you can spend on each person, not what gift you want to buy for them. If the list is becoming too long and pricey to fit into your budget, go through it again and take some people out – or lessen your spending amounts for each gift.

USE CASH WHEN POSSIBLE

Paying cash is a significant way to avoid holiday debt. You’ll most likely find yourself keeping better track of your spending this way. If you do need to use a credit card, ensure you can pay off the balance with ease. Also, always use a card that offers a low-interest rate.

Prepaid cards are another great way to shop online without using a credit card. With prepaid cards, the amount that is loaded onto the card is all you can spend. Just remember to be careful of reload fees and other hidden charges.

SHOP EARLY

The earlier you start shopping, the earlier you can hopefully find great deals. Plus, you can spread out your holiday expenses over a longer period of time and resist the urge to overspend. Giving yourself more time to check everything off your list also allows you to put more thought into each gift instead of shopping at the very last minute.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HOLIDAY SALES

If you don’t mind crowds, take advantage of sales like Black Friday to find great deals. If you’d rather skip the lines and crowds of people, you can always opt to shop online on Cyber Monday. If there is a certain item you have your eye on, watch for companies that offer free shipping days and other discounts around the holiday season.

GET CREATIVE

Secret Santa

Try encouraging your friends or family to do a Secret Santa for gifts this year, which means everyone only needs to buy one gift. It’s a fun game that could even become a new favourite tradition!

Potlucks

Holiday meals can easily become expensive and extravagant. Plan a potluck instead and have all of your guests contribute their own dish. Not only is this a great way to save money and time, but it’s also a fun way to try other people’s delicious cooking.

Gift Your Time

Gifts don’t have to be tangible. Babysitting, shovelling, dog walking or running errands can be a perfect gift for people with overloaded schedules or elderly relatives who need a little bit of extra help.

GET CRAFTY

A lot of people value handmade thoughtful gifts over pricey ones. Consider framing concert tickets, making a terrarium or baking a sweet treat for the people on your list. All of these things don’t cost much, and it’s the thought that will truly count.

SEND E-CARDS

Sending physical cards in the mail can quickly add up with the cost of cards, envelopes, labels and postage. E-cards are another easy way to save money and time, especially since they’re usually free or relatively inexpensive. You can still personalize the cards and send them far and wide to your loved ones.

BUY IN BULK

If you are hosting gatherings or overnight guests, it’s a great idea to take advantage of memberships that offer bulk pricing. By shopping at places like Costco, you can save money on frequently used items like paper plates, napkins, paper towels and toilet paper. Food and snacks will also cost less with bulk pricing.

BUY A VEHICLE WITH BIRCHWOOD CREDIT

If a new vehicle with an affordable payment plan is on your list this year, our credit experts can help you get approved. We lend our own money, which means we can give better rates, faster approvals and more affordable payment terms.

Fill out our online Car Loan Application and our team will help you find a payment plan that meets your budget and lifestyle. You can also get a complimentary, secure credit report so you can know exactly where your credit stands. Start your Secure Credit Check and take your first step to financial independence today.

Rebecca Lake
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