It may be the happiest time of the year, but it can also be the most difficult time of the year for a growing number of people when it comes to personal money management. It is no secret that the end of the year is an expensive time for everyone. Still, by familiarizing yourself with several helpful tips and tricks, you can protect yourself and your finances from overspending and dipping into any emergency savings funds. Acquaint yourself with several money saving tips for this upcoming holiday season. Continue reading to find out everything you could ever want or need to know to enjoy precious time with friends and family without sacrificing financial security.
1. Establish a budget
Suppose you have previously struggled to save money during the busy holiday season. In that case, it may benefit you to establish a Christmas budget ahead of time by checking out Tally’s guide to Christmas budgeting. It can sound like an extremely time-consuming and complex process from start to finish. Still, it can dramatically impact your ability to stick to a pre-determined ballpark figure and prevent you from spending double, or even triple, of what you had originally planned. To do so, you must make a note of any essential items, such as food, gifts, and decorations, and determine how much money is roughly required to allow you to work your way through your shopping list. It may also be worth remembering to include gas prices, charitable contributions, and celebratory gifts in the final figure. It can, after all, allow you to plan and, perhaps most importantly, enjoy the most joyous time of the year with your friends and family members around you.
2. Plan your gifts in advance
If you are the type of person that likes to remain prepared and organized throughout the holiday season, planning your gifts can allow you to buy presents if and when you stumble upon them. This will allow you to relax and enjoy one of the most wonderful times of the year without worrying about securing any last-minute gifts. If the sheer thought of shopping for last-minute gifts fills you with dread, this can also be a great opportunity to beat the crowds and shop in peace and quiet. It can also allow you to take advantage of any sales, deals, offers, and promotions available to you. Suppose battling crowds of people as you shop doesn’t tend to bother you. In that case, Black Friday or Cyber Monday can be great opportunities for you to bag a last-minute bargain either online or in-person and ensure it arrives in time for you to deliver them to your intended recipient ahead of the big day.
3. Shop with cash only
It may not necessarily make sense at first. Still, by shopping with cash only as opposed to using your credit or debit card, you can keep a close eye on your finances and are more likely to avoid making any impulse purchases that you don’t want or need. This is because it can be relatively difficult to keep track of any purchases made with non-physical cash unless you take the time to manually check your bank statement regularly. If you have established a budget ahead of time, this can also be a great time to withdraw physical cash to improve your chances of sticking to it as you make your way through your shopping list. If you end up requiring more money later, it should also be easier to keep a close eye on how much you are spending altogether. It is also worth remembering that several small businesses may also provide you with an exclusive offer, deal, or promotion if you pay with cash, as this can save them a considerable amount of money in merchant fees.
4. Start shopping as soon as possible
If you have a rough idea of which gifts you intend to purchase for your friends and family members this upcoming holiday season, starting shopping as soon as possible can allow you to save money by avoiding panicking or scrambling for last-minute gifts and overspending. It can also boost your chances of finding the perfect gift instead of having no choice but to settle for generic or unwanted gifts that are unlikely to be appreciated or even used in the long run. If you are struggling to know when to start shopping, it may be worth ticking off a couple of gifts every month in the lead up to the holiday season or even making the most of the post-holiday sales that tend to crop up at the beginning of the year. If you are shopping on a budget this year or are in the process of saving money for a major milestone in the coming months, this can be a great way to save a considerable amount of money during what is one of the most expensive times of the year.
5. Consider buying in bulk
If you have been chosen to host Christmas this year or are due to hold several holiday parties in the run-up to Christmas, you may consider buying in bulk. This can include food, gifts, decorations, and even standard household items that may be slightly more difficult to source and obtain during one of the busiest times of the year. If you have a membership at a wholesale department store, on the other hand, it may be the perfect time to put your membership to good use and buy many essential items in bulk. It can allow you to save a considerable amount of money and, perhaps most importantly, ensure you become the host with the most.
6. Cut back on non-essential items
To save money this upcoming holiday season, you must cut back on non-essential items several months in advance. It can allow you to free up a considerable amount of money to be deposited into a Christmas savings fund and used on food, gifts, or decorations to avoid tapping into an emergency savings fund if the worst was to happen and you ran out of money. This can be as simple as sacrificing your daily takeaway coffee for a month or only eating out once a month instead of once a week, for example.
If you tend to spend too much money during the holiday season, it may benefit you to familiarize yourself with several money saving tips to have a great Christmas with your loved ones without the added financial strain of draining your bank account. This can be done by establishing a budget ahead of time, planning your gifts several months in advance, shopping with cash only, starting shopping as soon as possible, considering buying in bulk, and cutting back on non-essential items if and when you can in the lead up to the big day.
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