With four major holidays fast approaching over a sixty-two-day span it might be a good idea to get prepared. Whether you’re celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years, or maybe all four, having a plan and starting early is your best weapon to combat overspending, stress, and holiday fatigue.
Here are some of Money Management Pro’s best tips to make sure you have a festive holiday season.
Make a List – included everyone you need to buy for and gift ideas. Having a list helps you avoid impulse shopping, and spending too much or forgetting someone.
Set a Budget – Set a spending limit for everyone on your list, dinner, party, costume, decorations, etc. and stick to it. Setting a budget helps prevent a Holiday hangover come January.
Set Expectations – Talk candidly with family and friends about your holiday spending plans. Use this conversation to sent guidelines on how much will be spent on each person, who will be purchased for or not. You might be surprised to learn that others might want to cut back too, but are unwilling to start the conversation.
Research – use the internet to do your homework, compare prices, products, and sign up for rewards. Avoid blindly walking into the store and picking up stuff without doing your homework.
Get Help – when people offer, don’t be afraid to say yes. When hosting Thanksgiving or holiday party take people up on their offers to bring an item. This saves you both time and money when preparing for the celebration. It also makes your guest feel value as a contributor to the festivities.
Avoid the Rush – Shop during off hours, early, late night or online.
Shipping – if you need to ship gifts remember to do this at the beginning of the season or look for free shipping offers. (Cyber Monday) Directly sending gifts from online retailers to your recipient can save you a ton of cash.
DIY – Photo books or photo gifts, in general, always make perfect gifts for the extended family members or for that person that has everything. Just take a look at all the picture on your smartphone. If photos are not your thing, how about a custom t-shirt of a favorite character or saying. DIY projects can be used for Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations too.
Receipts/Returns – ask for gift receipts and keep all original receipts. Make sure you understand the return policy too before making a final purchase.
Pregame – Heading out on New Years? Enjoy some cocktails or appetizers at home before hitting that expensive restaurant and save that money for the main course. Please remember not to drink and drive.
Those are some of the best hacks we can suggest to kick off the holiday season properly. We all enjoy, (most of us do) extended time with family and friends celebrating the holidays so why not plan now and avoid paying later.
What are your favorite tips to save money during the holiday season?