The holiday season is one of the most exciting times of the year, but it can also be stressful emotionally and financially, especially if you are living on a budget or lower income.
Your finances can really take a hit if you are not careful about spending money wisely during this time of year
With Christmas being right around the corner, don’t start stressing just yet and instead focus on simplifying and saving money as well. Here are 7 simple ways to save money this Christmas so you will not break the bank this holiday season.
1. Make a Holiday Budget
Creating a holiday budget can help you feel more in control of your finances. Set a reasonable holiday budget for your holiday spending and stick to it. Decide how much you can afford to spend and make a plan. By planning what and whom you are spending on, you can save money and avoid overspending during the holiday season. By establishing a budget and tracking your expenses, you can stick to your budget, which means you can spend within your means and save money during the holiday season.
A budget shows you if you are spending more or less than you can afford. It allows you to realize where you stand financially before making any purchases during the holiday season. Allocate a realistic amount of money for the holiday budget to spend during the festive season.
2. Track Your Spending
Keeping track of your holiday season spending is the best way to avoid going over your budget during the holiday season. It is easy to lose track of what and whom you are spending money on during this time of year. The best way to track your spending is by setting a spending limit for different types of expenses and tracking your progress regularly to see where you stand financially. Keep a money-spending log so you know exactly where your money is going this holiday season. That way, you can track your spending and keep it under control.
You can download a money-management app such as iSpending and CashTrails for your phone to keep track of your holiday spending. A money-spending log allows you to see if you are overspending in areas where you could be saving. Spreadsheets are also an excellent way to track your holiday expenditures.
3. Open A Holiday Spending Account
To stay organized, you can open a holiday spending account for your holiday budget to spend during the holiday season. Start stashing a set amount every week or month into that account so that you have all the holiday money you need before the holiday season rolls around. If you open the account early and start saving each week or each month, you will be able to set aside enough money for the holiday budget.
If you start a little late, you can still have all the holiday money you need, but you will just need to increase the amount of money that you want to stash each week or each month into your holiday spending account. If you cannot save on a regular basis, then save a little bit whenever you can to make your holiday budget more manageable.
4. Make a Shopping List
Make a holiday shopping list and strictly stick to it in order to avoid the common overspending traps you may encounter this season. It is easy to spend too much during this time of year because people usually tend to get caught up in consumerism. If you have a budget in place and make a list of all the things you want to buy and make a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for, you can avoid overspending.
Having a list will help you plan your spending and keep you on track. Make a list of the groceries, gifts, etc. you need to purchase during the holiday season. You can budget out an amount that you want to spend on each person or each thing on your list. You can also save money by buying in bulk. Do not buy everything at the same shop if you can get better deals elsewhere.
5. Take Advantage Of Holiday Sales
One of the best ways to save money during the holiday season is by taking advantage of holiday sales. Not all holiday sales deals are truly discounted, though. Some stores keep prices the same, but simply mark items with a “sale” sign so make sure to check out other stores or shops for price comparisons before you spend money on sales deals. Also, no matter, how great the holiday deals are, if the money is not in your budget you will never save money. If you are able to snag the great sales deals on items you need to buy, and if the money is in your budget, you can save a lot of money during the holiday sales.
6. Shop Early And Shop Online
If you shop early, you can avoid the inflated prices of gift items and other items during the holiday shopping season. By shopping early, you can save a lot of money because retailers usually offer huge discounted prices several weeks before the holiday season rolls around. Also, starting shopping early, you can avoid impulse shopping and overspending during the busy holiday shopping times.
You can often snag great deals and online coupons when you shop online. You can browse and find the best deals and use coupons to save major money on a wide variety of products. Online shopping also saves you money on sales taxes and gas as you shop from the comfort of your home.
7. Cut Down On Decoration Costs
If you are a little crafty, then one great way to save money during the holiday season is by creating your own decorations. DIY decorations are also a wonderful way to have more fun with the kids. You can save money by creating your own decorations. Make some of your holiday decorations this year to reduce your holiday decoration costs and create some lasting memories.
It is easy to get caught up in the spending cycle during the holiday season, but if you have got a plan in place and know how to spend and save wisely, the holiday season does not have to be a budget-buster.
How will you be saving money this holiday season?
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