While holiday season is all about great family time, fun and recreation, it’s also an awfully budget-buster period for most families. Lovely presents, breathtaking decorations and festive parties bring a lot of delight, but they can easily break your budget when organized poorly. The crucial thing to do in order to have a stress-free holiday season is to plan everything well in advance. Follow these simple money-saving tips and you won’t go bust and crazy after the holiday season.
1. Plan your shopping
Proper planning is the key to saving money during the holiday season. Most people spend much more during holiday shopping than they’ve expected due to the poor planning. To avoid this situation the first thing you should do is to take a pen and notebook and make a list of purchases and expenditures. Mark out several essential categories like gifts, decorations, recreation, extras and extraordinary expenses and figure out how much money you will spend on each category. Don’t forget to count the services of babysitter or mail carrier.
2. Start early
You don’t have to wait till the last moment to buy holiday gifts. Instead, keep your eyes open for lovely items for your family and friends all the time. I often happen to find the necessary item when I’m not looking for anything at all. I feel very comfortable when I can cross some people and presents off my list months in advance. Moreover, when you start doing shopping earlier, chances are you’ll get the desirable item much cheaper in off-season.
3. Use the Internet
When it comes to expensive presents, it’s always much smarter to look for those gifts online first. Not only will you save a considerable amount of money, but you will also get plenty of expert reviews on everything from dining sets to laptops. You can find the desirable item with the most positive feedback. I also use a few comparison shopping sites in order to find the lowest price.
With the wealth of arts and crafts supplies and DIY ideas you can decorate your house even if you’re on a very tight budget. Homemade crafts are much more appealing and cheaper than off-the-shelf goods. Invitations, Halloween costumes and decorations, Christmas decorations and food can be done with little creativity and desire. Your kids will fall in love with the suggestion to get involved in the festive preparations. Prep personalized Christmas gifts for your pals or surprise the whole family with felt Christmas decorations. Add a personal touch to the holidays and cut down on commercial goods with lovely DIY crafts.
5. Opt for cash
Obviously, you can spend the amount of money you have with you. If you pay with a credit card, your limit is almost endless. That’s why whenever I’m going to do some shopping I take a certain amount of cash with me and the moment I’m run out of money the shopping is over. A cash-only holiday shopping enables me to spend exactly the amount of money I can afford. On the other hand, if you’re urged to pay with a credit card, choose the one with the lowest interest rate. Bear in mind that with a credit card it’s very easy to lose control in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping.
6. Black Friday and Cyber Monday
If standing in huge lines doesn’t frighten you off, consider shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Do a little research online to find the best stores and the things you want to buy there. Cyber Monday, known as the spin-off of the Black Friday, is a great occasion to stock up on budget-friendly holiday supplies. Sign up for the website to receive useful notifications from your favorite stores as online bargains can be found all year round the year.
7. Enjoy free family traditions
Unique family traditions make the holidays so special and memorable, but if you want to indulge your family with extravagant gifts or special attractions, be ready to splurge. However, traditions can be admirable and memorable without spending lots of money. There are plenty of cheap and even free entertainments out there like sledding, going to the pumpkin farm, making Christmas crafts or baking together. It’s important to teach your little ones that entertainments are about a great time you spend together. Enjoy free family traditions without skimping on merriment and great memories!
With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to look for smart ways to save money during the festive period. Start planning your budget in order not to get disappointed and confused about the huge list of to-dos before the holidays. Opt for the aforementioned tips and use your own secrets to make this holiday season unforgettable and tremendous without wrecking your budget.