There are a lot of money saving ideas that can help you stick to your holiday budget. If you want to keep yourself from accumulating too much debt during this festive season, you might want to make sure that you do not go beyond your planned expenses.
It is no secret that the Christmas season is synonymous to huge expenses. This is that time of the year where you buy gifts for people that you love and throw parties to celebrate the season.
In the midst of all of these activities, your finances can get a big dent when you do not monitor your spending. According to reports, Americans plan to spend up to $906 on Christmas gifts. You can quickly run up your credit card bill in gift buying alone. Not to mention the expenses involved when you plan parties, get-togethers, or even simple dinners with family and friends. You might not notice it but you are already getting into some deep debt situation.
This is just one of the many reasons why you need to look into money saving ideas as you celebrate the holiday season. It is quite challenging to try and join the merriment when you know for a fact that you are slowly slipping into debt. You end the year with a huge debt amount under your name and you start the new year on the wrong financial footing.
Money saving ideas for holiday gifts
Here are a couple of things that you can do to help keep your spending down this holiday season.
Create a budget now
Before you start with your money saving ideas, you need to start by creating your budget now. You need to remember that your household budget should be different from the other months of the year. If you haven’t prepared a specific budget yet, then you need to work on it now. You want to include the expenses that are unique to the season. That means including gifts, increasing the food budget, holiday decorations, etc. If you expect to receive additional income like a Christmas bonus or year-end commission, you might want to include that in this budget as well. That way, you will know how much you are working with. There may be an increase in expenses, but there is also an increase in income.
Just in case your income will not increase, you should analyze your current expenses. Try to cut back on some categories to make way for the holiday spending. If you cannot find any, then avoid spending. There are money saving ideas that will not make you spend even a dime.
Be on a lookout for sale promotions
If you really have to buy something, make sure that you look for a sale promotion first. This is why it is important to start on your shopping early. Not only that, take note of important sale events like Black Friday – which will happen on November 23. You also have Cyber Monday to consider. While the major price decrease happens on this day, there are other sale events that take place before that date. If you start your holiday shopping months before, it will give you enough time to catch the major sale events. Make sure you are aware of the promotions and sale schedules of your favorite retail stores.
Bundle up purchases to save on shipping
In case you plan on shopping online, you might as well choose to bundle your purchases. This will allow you to save on the shipping costs. You should also be aware of certain shipping privileges that you can get. For instance, you can have the product directly shipped to the recipient of the gift. There are also discounts that you may be able to get as you make your purchase. Some will waive the shipping cost if you meet a certain level of purchase. There are other money saving ideas that you can get if you choose to shop for holiday items online. Make sure that you do your research and that you are aware of the perks that you should be getting for every purchase.
Personalize your gifts
Another thing that you can do to save more this holiday season is to make your own gifts. You can tap into your creativity for this. Or you can use a hobby. For instance, if you live near family and friends who have kids, you can give them “free babysitting” gift cards that they can choose to use throughout the year. Or you can bake them cookies and package the goodies nicely and use it as a gift. The great thing about personalizing your gifts is that you can really make something that the recipient will like. Most of the time, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on it as well.
These money saving ideas are all effective in helping you lower your holiday expenses so you can stay out of debt. You just have to really be creative about your ideas and make sure that you put a tight leash on your spending urges.
Situations where you overspend
If you really want to be successful in implementing your money saving ideas for the holiday season, you need to be aware of the different ways that you will be forced to overspend. By knowing about these, you will know what to avoid as you go through your holiday spending.
Buying last minute
First of all, waiting to buy at the last minute is the fastest way for you to overspend on your holiday budget. Last minute buyers do not have the time to compare products. Usually, they just go for the first thing that they see. That is a sure way of spending more on a product. Not only that, the lack of time will make you miss out on a lot of sale event and promotions that would have brought the prices down on your purchases.
Choosing express shipping
This is also connected to your choice of being a last-minute buyer. If you are pressed for time, you will have to pay for express shipping – especially if you are buying most of your gifts online. According to reports, the US Postal Service wants to increase the shipping service fees utilized by Amazon by 9% to 12%. That means the express shipping, which is higher already, will go even higher. Try to avoid this as much as possible.
Not knowing what they really want
Finally, you will end up overspending if you do not know what you really want to buy. Indecision can be a catalyst for making bad decisions – especially if you are running out of time. It is bad enough that you are rushing through the purchase and end up overspending on it. If you are getting something that you did not want in the first place, that would make things a lot worse. Even if you are late on buying the items on your holiday list, you should still create a list of what you should buy. This will help you think about what you really need instead of just rushing through the whole buying process.
Take note of all these pitfalls so you will not end up overspending your holiday budget. Even if you have all the money saving ideas implemented, it will be for nothing if you end up making these mistakes.