The holidays are often a period when we have a tendency to overspend, but it is possible to save! Here are five money-saving secrets for you to discover to keep your holiday budget on track.
Buy in bulk with a friend. Throughout the year, many households are unable to buy in bulk either because there is only one person to shop for or there isn’t a need to buy a large amount of one thing. Talk to a friend in a similar situation and shop together for supplies in bulk. For example, if you and a friend are both planning on doing some holiday baking, you can buy items such as butter, flour, icing sugar, and chocolate chips in large quantities and then split the costs.
Chip in for a group gift. If you know of several people buying a gift for a certain person, such as your boss or your child’s teacher, ask them if they’d be interested in pooling all of the money together for a joint gift. By chipping in for a purchase with others, you can all give one present that will likely make a bigger impact but for an affordable amount.
Buy for groups when possible. Look over your list of the people you’re buying gifts for and see if any of them can be grouped by gift ideas or cost. For example, if you have a lot of holiday parties to attend this year, go to the wine store once, pick out a nice bottle of reasonably-priced wine and buy a case of it. You may also want to talk to the store manager to see if they can offer you a discount on the price since you're buying a large quantity.
Cut back on non-essential spending. Life is full of unnecessary daily expenses. A coffee and muffin in the morning, a latte in the afternoon, an adorable skirt that you spotted while you were at the mall shopping for your guy’s gift… and the list goes on! It happens fairly often that we’ll see or crave an item that we feel like we just have to get, but all of these small purchases eventually add up. From now until the holidays are over, challenge yourself to eliminate spending on any extras that you can do without. It’s even a good idea to adopt this habit year-round!
Shop after the holidays. As we all know, once the holidays are over, there are several post-holiday deals to take advantage of, including Boxing Day sales. Talk to your friends and loved ones and see how they feel about postponing the gift-giving until after Christmas Day. This might not be possible with all of the people in your life; however, you may have a group of friends who are also on a budget. Doing a gift exchange with them a few days after the holiday rush would mean you can all save money but still give one another cool gifts. Be sure to also stock up on greetings cards and gift wrap for next year as all of these items will be on sale after December 25th. If you’re especially eager, you can even get a head start on buying gifts for loved ones for next year. Just remember to factor in these purchases when working on next year’s budget!
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