The holidays are meant to be an enjoyable time to spend with family members and other loved ones. However, some holidays can present a common issue—spending habits increase resulting in limited funds. Those high costing holidays might include Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Those are not the only holidays where spending becomes excessive. There are ways to decrease your spending during the holidays in an effort to save money, but you must be willing to budget your funds accordingly. Below is a list of ways you can cut your holiday budget down.
Bulk and Joint Buying
When shopping on a holiday budget, it is a great idea to shop in bulk. Consider going to warehouses to do big time shopping where your purchases are large, like during the Christmas or Thanksgiving season. Even if you do not need to buy things in bulk, taking a friend along with you to shop is a good way to save money too. You both can split the cost of the final shopping bill and then split the merchandise that was bought. For instance, shopping for Thanksgiving dinner could be expensive at a regular store. But if you decide to shop at a warehouse, you will save money by buying in bulk. If you discover that the huge can of beans that is in your basket will be too much for your small family, split the cost of the beans with a friend and give her half of the beans.
Settling for Smaller Purchases
Another consideration when shopping on a holiday budget is to not go for the large items when there is a smaller option. We all know the saying that bigger is better, but in the case of spending money, sometimes going smaller means having fatter pockets. When shopping for Thanksgiving, it may be best to get a smaller sized turkey instead of the largest that is in the store. For Christmas, although a huge tree may look good in your living room, a smaller one would be most cost-efficient and will look just a good.
Have a Holiday Potluck
A great way to keep up with your holiday budget is to require that everyone bring a dish for holidays that are celebrated with big dinners and celebrations. For instance, common holidays that are celebrated with large dinners or parties include Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Independence Day, and New Years. Instead of funding the entire food menu for all of your guests, tell each to bring a signature dish or other needed things, like drinks, dinnerware, or even ice. Do not leave it up to just you to provide the food for everyone that will be in attendance. This is a sure way to satisfy your guests, celebrate the holidays, and save money all at the same time.
Shop Early or Shop Late
These are two tips that are beneficial when you are on a holiday budget. If you are a person who prefers to get everything done early, shopping early for the holidays is a great idea. As the days get closer a holiday, some stores may find it necessary to increase the prices on popular holiday items. For instance, you may find that Christmas lights are more expensive than they were right after the Thanksgiving. Stores do this in an effort to make as much money before the product is deemed out of season. If you prefer to avoid the holiday crowds and do not mind purchasing holiday merchandise late, catching after holiday sales are a good idea as well. This is when most holiday merchandise goes on sale for 50 to 75 percent off of regular price. You can even use those products as an early start to next year’s holiday.
Never be ashamed for shopping at thrift stores, yard sales, garage sales, or flea markets. These things are set in place to provide merchandise for discounted prices. These items are used, but in great condition to be used as gifts or decorations. Another creative method of being thrifty is choosing to make your own gifts to give away. Make gift certificates for a back massage or a thorough house cleaning as Christmas gifts. Make your own jewelry or arts and crafts to give away for gifts as well. Creative gifts that come from the heart are just as appreciated as store bought gifts. All of these are great ideas when you are on a holiday budget.
Not Every Holiday Requires Spending Money
Holidays are a great time to shop for others, but not everything is meant to be re-bought. For example, you do not have to buy a new set of dinnerware for Thanksgiving, or a new tree every year for Christmas. Purchase dinnerware specifically for Thanksgiving and put them away to be used next year. Buy an artificial Christmas tree, one that can be used over and over. If you do not have to spend money on it, don’t. This method is a great way to save money when you are on a holiday budget.
Holidays are meant to be stress-free and enjoyable. So, try to make your holidays less expensive. That way, you will not be left wondering where your money went and why you spent so much for a one-time yearly occasion.