It’s official! Today marks American Thanksgiving, tomorrow is Black Friday. This means that the holidays are approaching quickly. Do your palms start to sweat a little as you consider how you will purchase all of the gifts, plan the holiday meal and give to charity on your budget?
Here are 7 tips to help you save BIG this holiday season and eliminate financial stress.
1. Set a Budget & Stick to Cash
Set a budget and stick to it! It’s so easy to spend more than you can afford once the holiday sales and shopping events begin for the year. If you know what you can afford to spend, and you exercise willpower to stick to your budget, you can eliminate a lot of financial strain. Take out the amount of cash you can afford to spend and once that is done, so is your shopping. It does not get any easier than that!
2. Allow for the Non-Gift Expenses in Your Budget
After you know your budget for the holiday, decide how much you can afford to spend on dinner, and extras such as candies, holiday cards, and postage. Deduct those amounts from your budget. Make sure you include all of the little things in your budget, from postage to gift wrap. Making an oversight such as forgetting to budget the holiday meal can cause waves of stress as the holiday draws near.
3. Make a List of Items You Want to Get and Watch for Sales
Make a list of items you know you will purchase, such as gift wrap, holiday cards, a turkey for the meal, baking supplies and gift items. Every week check the sales ads at the stores you frequently shop to see if an item on your list is going to be on sale at significant savings. This can really help you save big this holiday season.
4. Set Spending Limits on Gifting
After you have your list of expenses to get ready for the holidays, you know how much you can spend on your loved ones. Make a list of who you want to purchase gifts for this year. You will spend more on some than others. Budget accordingly. You might set a limit of $25 per relative or $10 per co-worker gift. Knowing how much you can spend on each person makes selecting a gift much easier!
5. Consider Making Handmade Gifts
Consider making gifts for some, or all, of the people on your shopping list. If you love to bake give your neighbors, co-workers and friends homemade cookies. If you are crafty, make something that they cherish for years because it came from you!
6. Take Advantage of Online Sales
Online Shopping has many perks including free shipping, coupon codes and best of all being able to being able to use a cash back site to maximize your savings. Search for items you wish to buy to make sure you are getting the best deal. Make sure to sign up for email offers from your favorite shopping sites!! Most retailers offer a 10-20% discount on an item, or your first purchase just for signing up! Also look for any product rebates available!
7. Save on Gift Cards
If gift cards are on your list of items to buy, watch for the special deals that start popping up around the holidays. I often see chances to earn a $25 gift card for every $100 spent- that is like giving a free gift to someone on your list! Just about everyone loves gift cards and you’ll love the savings this holiday season.
The most important thing to remember this holiday season is not to spend more than you can afford. Budgeting is very important for saving instead of going into debt. I hope these 7 tips will help you save big this holiday season!
If you have a money saving tip for the Holidays, I would love to hear about it.
Leave me a comment below and let me know!