Here are some ideas to help you save money this holiday season:
- Make a budget and stick to it: Before you decide who you need to buy gifts for, figure out how much you can afford to spend on gifts. Don’t forget to factor in your normal expenses (food, gas, rent, etc.) and make sure not to overextend yourself financially. Once you have decided how much you are spending, then you can decide how much to spend on each person.
- Cash, not credit: Using cash can help you avoid breaking your budget. When you start doing your holiday shopping, take out the amount of cash you intend to spend. When the cash runs out, you’re done shopping. In addition, using cash helps you better understand how much money you are spending, because you are literally handing over the money, rather than swiping a card and seeing numbers on a receipt.
- Trim down your gift list: If there are people on your list you don’t really need to shop for, don’t. Also consider implementing a Secret Santa tradition in your family so that you don’t have to shop for everyone. For a family, consider buying a gift basket with something for everyone in it. Consider teaming up with another family member to shop for relatives.
- Get creative: Spending a lot of money isn’t the only way to show you care. Smaller items with emotional significance can be much more effective and cost-effective than an expensive gadget. If you are a creative person, consider making something yourself. It’s the thought that counts.
- Shop around: Start shopping early so that you can have time to comparison shop. Look online for deals and make sure to get store flyers to check for the best deals. Taking the time to get the best price can wind up saving you a bundle this year.