It’s no secret that the holidays are fast approaching! We are officially under the 30 day mark and if you haven’t already, you might want to start thinking about some gifts and necessities you will be needing for the holidays. For many (no, you are not alone!) this can be a very overwhelming time. Turkeys, hams, extravagant gifts, last minute purchases for that cousin you forgot would be coming- it all adds up. Here are 7 ways to take control and take the stress out of saving money leading up to the holidays.
1. Make a List
By compiling a layout of who you are buying gifts for and what you need to get if you are hosting a dinner, party or the main event, you will keep your spending on track. Make sure to set a budget where possible and do yourself a favor by sticking to it.
2. Start Early
If you can, consider taking a good look and making an effort to attend any Black Friday Sales happening in stores near you. Many stores also offer online Cyber Monday deals which can sometimes even be better than the Black Friday Deals! For any type of electronic gifts or houseware necessities, this is a great time to stock up and save a ton! All of the money you save can then be set aside and put towards future expenses.
Tip: If you are purchasing a turkey, many grocery stores offer black Friday turkey discounts and this could mean a huge savings!
3. Make what you can
If there are small gifts for teachers and caretakers that you need to include in your holiday shopping, think about your purchase before making it. At the end of the day, never forget that it really is the “thought that counts”. Baking large batches of cookies and goodies can add a heartwarming touch to a more economic gift.
4. Compare Prices
Instead of just rushing out or aimlessly walking through the malls, go back to the list you created and see where you can either get the best deal or find out which stores will price match the best price you can find. Shopping online first to compare prices and scope out deals is a huge time saver as well.
5. Collaborate on large gifts
If you are planning on getting an extravagant gift for mom, consider getting your brothers and sisters involved. As much as you want this to be a spotlight moment on you, it will mean so much more that it came from all of you. This will also allow you to present a larger gift without completely breaking the bank.
6. Consider Secret Santa Methods
We all go through tougher times some years more than others. If you have a large group to buy for, work employees or extracurricular teams to buy for, consider the “Secret Santa” approach.
How this works: A few weeks before the holidays have everyone write their name on a small piece of paper and put it in a hat. Everyone then goes in one by one and picks the name of who they will buy a gift for!
This way everyone on your list still gets a gift, but you are just buying for one person instead of several.
7. Focus on the Celebration, not the gifts.
The holidays should be, first and foremost, about spending time with loved ones, not about just spending. We sometimes get so caught up in the perpetual cycle of giving gifts that we are often buying stuff just for the sake of buying something. Talk to your family and friends and discuss with them their presence during the holidays is present enough. The holidays should, after all, be about warmth and love and joy, and not about things!