Christmas is a happy time, a good excuse to get friends and family together – and even to make new acquaintances. It also comes as a heavy time of buying though, from gifts to new outfits to secret santa parties and catering, there are ample ways to drop a dollar around the holidays. Holiday dinners, holiday gifts, even holiday get togethers… all come with their own cost.
The reality of the holiday season is that although it is filled with cheer, it may also be filled with expense if one isn’t careful. Being careful doesn’t have to mean being cheap, it just has to mean being cautious about what you’re spending. There is nothing wrong with getting a great deal, and it can be done by following just a few easy tips and tricks.
This article is going to overview six tips to cut holiday costs without feeling like a Scrooge.
Tip 1: Keep track of who to buy for
Keep track of who you have to buy for, throughout the year. Put an estimated budget next to the name, so that you can plan for expenses ahead of time. By planning ahead, and keeping track of who needs to be bought for and who already has, you’ll cut your bills by a significant amount – and avoid duplicate spending.
Tip 2: Start shopping early
Christmas is when you give your gifts, but it doesn’t have to be when they’re all picked up. Planning who you have to buy for throughout the year can enable you to take advantage of sales, gifts you run into earlier than the season, and help you to save by not buying it all at once on credit cards. By the time Christmas comes around, you could have hardly any shopping to be done, making it relaxing as well as affordable.
Tip 3: Encourage a secret santa system, rather than buying for individuals
Everybody has a long list to buy for, especially in situations with a big family. If you find yourself in a similar spot, why not pitch a secret Santa system where everybody buys one gift, rather than several, and everybody walks away with one? Chances are, if you’re thinking about it at least one other person will have.
A variation on this is that if somebody wants a large gift you’d like to get but struggle to afford, team up with other people buying for the same individual. They’ll understand, they’ll get the gift they want, and you’ll have saved cash.
Tip 4: Use the resources available to you to save
Use vouchers, use loyalty card points, use discounts – whatever you can to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible on each present you purchase. You’d be surprised how saving a few dollars here and there can really add up to a more affordable holiday.
Another good resource available? The internet. The internet is full of voucher codes, and lowered priced retail vendors that are ready to offer a better deal than big box stores can – on the same items! So long as you have time to purchase and have it shipped, you have time to save.
Tip 5: Get crafty
DIY gifts are on the rise, and Christmas can be a great time to try them out. Bake a bunch, make sets of PJs, whip up homemade jam. Cook your own meals instead of catering or ordering in. Every time you DIY you save a chunk of change.
Tip 6: No matter what your budget, relax
Remember that no matter how much you’re feeling the holiday pain, others are too. Follow the tips, plan accordingly, and do everything you can to ensure you have as pain free a Christmas as possible.