Holiday gifts are not the only expense you have to prepare for this season. There are many ways the money in your bank account can quickly start to disappear. If you are hosting family in your home, traveling, cooking for family and friends, or decorating, these are all expenses you want to take into account. You can have an awesome Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday without having to worry about overspending. Here are a few holiday money hacks to keep in mind as you gear up for the holiday season.
Have a Budget
Before you buy your first gift or ingredient for the holiday meal, sit down with pen and paper (or your favorite budgeting app), and set up a budget for the holiday season. Look at all the money you will have and determine a reasonable amount to spend. Include a line item for gifts, food, traveling, decorations, and any hosting expenses. This way, you will know what you have to work with this year.
Use Cash for Holiday Gifts and Avoid Impulse Purchases
It may be inconvenient, but you will be saving yourself some budget heartache. Set aside a set amount of cash for holiday gifts and use this money for your shopping. Avoid buying items with credit cards as you may be tempted to go over your allotted budget. Also, be sure to stick to your plan. Create a list in advance of gifts you want to purchase for each person, so you only buy what you planned for.
Use Discount Sites to Book Flights
If you waited a bit late to purchase flights to see family—or travel abroad—you are in luck. Here are two ways you can save money on holiday flights:
- Fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday – These days are known to have the lowest rates for flying.
- Use discount sites – Google Flights, Skyscanner, CheapOair, and others can help you find decent flight and hotel rates.
Encourage Family and Friends to Bring Dishes
If you are hosting, try this holiday money hack. Save some money on your holiday meal by having family and friends bring dishes, paper plates, beverages, and any other relevant meal items. Not only can this save you money, but it also saves time.
Try the Dollar Store for Your Decoration Needs
You would be surprised by how much of your holiday decoration shopping can be done at your local dollar store. From ornaments to lights, and everything in between, low-priced stores in your area may have the exact decorations you need. Don’t break the bank on something you will only use once a year.
Don’t Lose Sight of the Intangibles
While it is excellent to buy gifts and indulge in traveling, remember what the season is all about. Recognizing the importance of seeing family, creating memories, and enjoying the company of friends will make it much easier to avoid purchasing things you don’t need. The intrinsic value of the season will outweigh the need to overspend. In short, during the holidays, one of the best holiday money hacks is to make the real purpose of the season a priority.
These Holiday Money Hacks Will Help You Financially Thrive This Holiday Season
The holidays can derail your budget priorities. As a result, it helps to go into this time of the year with a solid plan to prevent overspending and the use of credit cards. The tips listed above can help you create a strategy for getting everything you need while staying on budget.
For more tips on financially surviving during the holidays, take a look at these posts: