The news isn’t pretty – we all need to tighten our belts even more and find creative ways to save during the holidays. But you are in the right blog! There is always a way, always a Plan B.
It’s easy to spend too much. You feel you need to buy just one more thing – for each child. You don’t want to seem like you are a Scrooge during the holidays, so you sign up for all those Secret Santa swaps at work, buy host gifts for every holiday party, and keep the “just in case” closet filled with generic, but awesome gifts.
Here are a few ways to save money:
Stop participating in the extra events that add up in the end. Or start using those extra gifts in the closet for that type of event. Everyone is feeling the crunch. Your colleagues and friends will get it when you say you can’t keep joining in on the holiday gift-giving. And if they don’t – so what? They aren’t paying your bills, feeding your kids, or buying your gasoline. By speaking up, you might just give a few people the courage to stop their own holiday insanity. It feels so good in December, but the pain is real in January, when the credit card bills arrive in the mailbox.
Children remember having fun over getting toys. Those events don’t have to be trips to Disney World – they can be as simple as building a snowman, looking for leaf goblins, or making cookies. Most communities have free or low-cost events in and around the holidays. Look in your local paper, and create a gift card explaining that you will be the designated adult for these activities.That could be a great gift for the kids – and for adult friends or family!
Duplicate the Gift
You could save during the holidays by buying in bulk. For instance, olive oils and wines are often discounted when you buy more than one bottle. Candies, teas, or fancy foods are often found in wholesale stores These one-fits-all types of gifts are great for anyone – they aren’t unwanted knick-knacks and are easily consumed or regifted.
Use Your Credit Card
In the right way! If you must buy a gift, save during the holidays by using the credit card that offers the greatest reward – many card companies offer up to 5% cash back rewards on purchases in a specific time frame. Take advantage of 0% interest offers as well. Home Depot often offers 0% interest on purchases that total a specific amount, for a specific length of time. And think outside the box – you may find the perfect gift at a home improvement store or hardware store (they carry things like furniture, garden accessories, and home decor).
Do you have a special skill? Now is the time to use it! If you can build, bake, cook, paint, sing, dance, or work on cars – these are talents that can be turned into gifts. Lead a sing-in at your grandmother’s assisted living center. Change the oil in your sister’s car. Bake a Yule Log cake for the company party. Value your skills, and others will value them, too.
Save during the holidays by taking advantage of post-holiday sales – to stock up for the next holiday, and to celebrate this one! Leave the real date for family events, and schedule the rest for after the new year. Everyone gets a break from the pressure of the last few weeks of the year, and the sales make the celebration more economical.
Donate as a Family
Have your family (or company) discuss the value of giving, and choose a worthwhile charity of organization to volunteer time as a group. The planned donation of time allows everyone to experience the true meaning of giving, and you spend quality time together.
Feature photo by Ben White of Unsplash