Sales are everywhere through the end of the year, and there will be many temptations to spend for the holidays, even for things you don’t need. This time of the year always brings with it the need for self-control. Many people are excited to spend for Christmas, but by the first of the year, they’re babbling about their debt.
This article contains helpful ways to help you stay on track with your holiday spending.
9 Ways to Save For the Holidays
The holidays can bring with it pressure to buy for everyone you know. Don’t succumb to the pressure. You know way more people than you’re able to buy gifts for. Use the entire year to show others how you feel by acknowledging other days, like birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. You could even invite your entire small circle (friends and family) to your home during the summer for a nice cookout. They’ll remember the thoughtfulness during the year, even if they don’t receive your gift at Christmas.
1. Make a List
When it comes to gift-giving, you first want to know whom you will be buying for. Make a list of everyone you plan to buy a gift for. As previously stated, this should not be a list of everyone you know. Make your list exclusive to cut down on spending.
2. Make a Budget/Stay on Budget
Now that you have your list attach a budget to each person on that list. This is your spending budget. Whatever that amount is, stick to it. Don’t waiver. Find ways to fit your gift into that price range.
3. Start Early
You should never start shopping for your gifts at the last minute. Start early enough so you don’t depend on credit cards later. I usually start in September or October, but some people have habitually started shopping as early as the first of the year. Doing this allows you to catch sales throughout the year, easing the pressure and stress as you get closer to the holidays.
4. Focus on Charitable Giving
Some families give back during the holidays to lighten the pressure of giving expensive gifts rather than buying for one another. Discuss with your family the possibility of donating to a favorite charity or organizing or participating in a charity drive during the holidays.
5. Host a Holiday Social
If you love entertaining, consider inviting a small circle or group of people you cannot buy gifts for to your home for a nice, social setting. You could prepare appetizers and present small tokens of appreciation or have everyone participate in a white elephant gift exchange.
6. Look for Reasonable Places to Buy Gifts
Consider reasonable places to buy gifts, like discount stores, thrift stores, or Facebook Marketplace. There are ways to buy gifts for everyone on your list without exceeding budget.
7. Make Homemade Gifts
Consider a DIY gift this holiday rather than an expensive gift. This could be making homemade desserts, baking something from the heart, putting together a collage, making a clothing item, etc. This could be more personal, depending on who you’re making it for.
8. Coordinate a White Elephant Gift Exchange
Encourage your family to do a white elephant gift exchange. This is where everyone agrees to buy a unisex gift for no more than a certain amount (let’s say $20). All gifts are placed in a bag, and everyone takes a number (according to the number of gifts available.) From 1 to the top number, each person selects a gift from the bag. The higher the number, the more options you have in getting the gift you prefer most. This is meant to be fun and inexpensive for everyone.
9. Start a Christmas Fund
It may be too late to start now, but you may want to consider starting a Christmas for the next year. You can do this by putting a small amount away each week or month toward the holidays. That gets you closer to being ready to spend as you would like for the holidays.
The Bottom Line
The holidays are a special time of the year, and they should be about love, peace, joy, and giving. But giving shouldn’t be stressful. Because we know this time of the year is going to come, here are the main takeaways to not overspend during the holidays:
- Make a list
- Make a budget
- Start early
- Shop with a purpose
Do your best to keep to those general guidelines and enjoy your holiday!