Tis the season for giving, and although it feels great to see someone’s face light up when you give them a gift, you don’t have to break the bank while shopping for everyone on your “Nice” list. Here are a few tips to spend less during the holidays, without being a total Scrooge:
Create a budget
The first step to making the most of any spending is budgeting. Create a list of the people you want to buy gifts for and include how much you want to spend on each of them. Sticking to this list avoids overspending and assures that you have enough to purchase everyone’s gifts.
Pay for gifts with cash
Using a credit card during the holidays may be convenient, but it’s very easy to swipe a card and not feel the immediate burn. The interest that you wind up paying later is not worth it. Using cash makes spending more real. A simple method such as putting your budgeted cash into separate envelopes for everyone on your list can help make what you are spending more tangible.
Look for deals
An internet search for coupons or coupon codes can save you a ton! A lot of retailers will give you a discount just for signing up for emails from them, but there are also many websites that focus on providing coupons for consumers. The time spent researching these deals is well worth the money you can save.
Do-it-yourself gifts are a great way to save money but can be even more meaningful than that. DIY gifts allow you to give someone a unique and personalized gift, but more importantly, it conveys the love you put into making it. There are a multitude of websites that have ideas for handmade gifts, or if creativity is not your thing, you can always give time. A card with a coupon for babysitting or an invitation to a home-cooked meal can be just as valuable as any store-bought gift. Time is priceless.
Hopefully these tips can prevent you from getting wrapped up in the stress that comes from holiday shopping and enjoy the things that make the season so special.
After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, I have spent the past 5 years advising students about financial aid process and the options available to keep them from getting behind on their student loans. I would like to share my knowledge with you. I want to help you and students like you have a better understanding of your finances, provide guidance on ways to effectively manage your money, and offer you the support and encouragement needed to be successful.