There’s no doubt that the holidays are the most expensive time of year. Between giving gifts, decorating, and sending cards, the expenses can add up quickly.
Here are a few ways to make the holidays a little less stressful and a lot less of a financial burden.
Plan AheadIf you haven’t started to consider holiday costs, now is the time to begin! Adding up projected costs is a great place to start. In addition to considering gifts, remember to think of small items such as wrapping paper, holiday cards and postage. At this time of year, small lifestyle changes are amazingly helpful. It’s as simple as packing lunch instead of going out or having a family movie night at home.
Shopping lists aren’t just for the grocery store! Before you go out, make a list of what you need. Don’t get sidetracked by all of the appealing deals. Even though something is on sale, you are still spending money.
Give Homemade GiftsAll homemade gifts don’t have to look homemade! By making a gift, you are also giving your time. Take advantage of something that you’re good at. If you’re a baker, a delicious treat is a perfect option. You can even package them so they look store-bought. If you make jewelry, do that! These homemade items are also perfect for gift exchanges, such as a Secret Santa.
Collect Coupons and Look for SalesCollecting coupons can take some time and organization, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run. One easy way to do this is with technology. Apps can find the best deals and coupons – and keep you organized.
If you know what you need ahead of time, keep checking for sales. Remember, Black Friday isn’t the only time to shop! Save by paying attention to the regular price of an item. If the original price is what you’re hoping to spend and you find the item on sale, don’t worry about buying more to make up the difference.
Use Cash Back and RewardsA lot of credit cards offer rewards, and this is the time of year to take advantage! Keep an eye on what promotions your credit card may have for the holiday season. Often, you can get cash or gift cards back for your regular purposes. Also, keep an eye out for store rewards. A lot of stores offer loyalty programs and you may be lucky enough to have money available.
It can take a bit of preparation, but planning your holiday finances will definitely benefit you in the long run. Remember that financial planning doesn’t have to only take place during the holidays. Financial One is there to help you with your finances whenever you need it.