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Looking to save money this Christmas? The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also the most expensive time of the year. It can be stressful, especially if your holiday expenses bust your budget.
Planning ahead of time is key to staying on budget and not getting into debt during the holidays. With this year’s festive season still a few months away, there is still time to make a plan to save money, so do not start stressing just yet.
There are many things you can do to keep your costs down, save money this Christmas, and make your holiday shopping affordable and stress-free.
Here are some great holiday savings hacks that will save money this Christmas so that you can keep the costs of this holiday season to a minimum.
Make a Plan
Planning ahead is key to saving, not only for the holidays but all the time. It is even more important during the holidays because it is a fast-moving time of year. We are all running around trying to get everything done. We have school events, workplace parties, gathering with friends and so much more.
I can be really hard to think about saving money this Christmas with everything going on. Starting to plan for the season early is key. I’ve put together a Christmas Budget Planner that I use every year to stay on top of everything. It helps me stay on budget, save money, and keep track of everything that needs to be done.
It’s a good idea to come up with a system during this time of year. It could be in a notebook, on a spreadsheet or you can grab this planner. Whichever way you choose is fine, just pick a method and stick to it.
Create a Holiday Budget
It is easy to overspend and get into debt during the holiday shopping season, which is why you must create a holiday budget. A holiday budget is a way for you to control where your money is going and allows you to spend wisely.
Create a budget for your holiday spending and stick to it so that you can spend within your means without sacrificing any of your holiday experience.
Decide how much you can spend and make a plan, i.e. create a budget. When shopping online or in-store, it is a good idea to keep a printout of your budget so you can check your spending in real-time and avoid spending more than you intended.
Make a List
If you want to save money this Christmas and stay out of debt during this season, make a list of everyone and everything you need to shop for, based on your spending limits. You can write down what gifts you intend to buy for each person on the list.
Set a maximum amount per person based on your budget. Take the list with you whenever you go shopping to make sure you are spending on people and things that are on the list.
Set Up a Holiday Account
Once you have created a budget and made a list of the people and things you need to spend money on, create a holiday fund and put money away each week/month for holiday spending. If you start saving early, it will be easier to have all the money you have budgeted for holiday expenses on hand come November and December.
If you have not created a holiday fund yet, it might be a little bit late to save up enough for this Christmas season. No worries though, keep reading for some tips on how to save money this Christmas even if you are starting late. Going forward, you should consider starting to contribute to a holiday fund early.
The earlier you start saving for the holidays, the less of a financial burden it is. Make sure you put your holiday funds in a savings account that offers a high interest rate so you can earn even more money for the holidays.
Ways to Pay for Holiday Gifts
If it is not possible to achieve your holiday savings goals by putting money away each week or each month from your disposable income, find ways to generate extra cash. You can do overtime at work, find a part-time job, or do some freelance work.
You can also sell some things that you do not need or want to use to make some extra cash. If you are expecting a Christmas bonus at work, you can use those funds to pay for holiday gift and expenses.
When you are ready to start your holiday shopping, consider only carrying cash with you. Holiday spirits run high, impulse purchases can bust your holiday budget and it’s easy to spend more than you can afford to when using credit cards.
When you only carry cash, you can control your spending better because you can only spend what you have. Using credit cards to pay for purchases during the holidays is how many people get trapped in credit card debt.
Look for Deals
Look for deals on the things that are on your list is a must to save money this Christmas season. Many retailers offer holiday deals during the holiday shopping season. You can take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
Look for sales and coupons so you can buy gifts and other holiday necessities at reduced prices whether you are buying online or offline.
Not all deals offer the best value, so shop around to find the best places where you can get the best value for your money. Use comparison shopping apps such as ShopSavvy or PriceBlink to make sure you are getting the best prices.
Take advantage of early sales to save money and spread the cost of your holiday spending. If you shop early for holiday gifts and other purchases, often you can find better deals.
Many retailers offer discounts several weeks before the busy shopping time rolls around. When you shop early, you have more time to find the best places where you can get the cheapest price.
If you shop at the busy time during the season, you will have less time to shop around for the best deals. You end up paying more for gifts and buy on impulse when you shop at the last minute.
Use Cash Back Credit Cards
If you have put away enough money and know you can stick to your list and budget, it is a good idea to use cash back credit cards and rewards credit cards for holiday purchases. Just make sure you pay off your balances in full.
Shopping Apps and Cash Back Websites
Sign up for shopping apps that offer cashback on all of your purchases when you shop online. Shopping apps, such as eBates, will help you earn cash back on eligible purchases. eBates gets a commission when a consumer shops online or in-store with one of the stores eBates has partnered with. Then eBates shares a percentage of the money with the consumer.
You could earn as much as 30% cash back on all of your purchases using eBates. The company will send you a check every quarter or you can redeem your cash back rewards for a gift card to your favorite retailer.
Join eBates today to receive a $10 sign up bonus.
Cashback websites like TopCashback.com are another way to earn cash back. These websites place affiliate links to merchants’ sites on their website.
When consumers click through these links to shop on the merchants’ websites, these cashback websites earn a commission or flat fee for each transaction. They share a percentage of their earnings with the consumers.
Cut Down on Decoration Costs
Holiday decorations are incredibly overpriced. You can save a lot of money on holiday decorations if you buy them during the off-season.
There are also some simple DIY decor options that you should consider. Find some do-it-yourself holiday decoration ideas to save money while still giving your home a festive feel.
Make Your Own Gifts
If you cannot afford to buy gifts without over boarding your budget, you need to get creative. Use your talents to make your own hand-crafted homemade gifts such as knitting a sweater, festive biscuits and cakes, personalized soaps, and more, depending on your talents.
Making your own gifts is a great way to save money, especially if you are in a difficult financial situation. Besides, your own handcrafted gifts add a personal touch that is often more special than any expensive gift you can buy.
You can save money this Christmas season and enjoy the holidays even if you are in a difficult financial situation without going into debt. If you follow these money-saving tips, you can enjoy the holidays within a reasonable budget or without breaking the bank.
Stay on budget this holiday season with this Christmas Budget Planner.
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