‘Tis the season to start trimming – and not just your Christmas tree! The holidays can be one of the happiest times of the year because you get to spend it with family and long-lost friends. However, the downside is that it usually comes with a huge price tag. The shopping list you have to get through every holiday season is pretty extensive, including things like gifts, food, and even new clothes for all those holiday parties.
So, how can you get through this season and enjoy it without putting yourself into massive debt? The only way to do this is by saving early and spending wisely.
Here are five tips that will help you cut your expenses without sacrificing any of the holiday fun:
Make a Budget and Stick to It
Before hitting the mall and online shops or organizing a big party, it helps to have a foolproof plan in place. By doing this, you will know exactly where your money is going and how much you have left.
You can set this budget in a number of different ways. For example, you could simply set a general spending cap for yourself and stick to it. Alternatively, you could allocate a specific amount for every person on your gift list, as well as any other spending you have to do.
However, take care that you do not paint yourself into a corner by setting a budget that is too tight. An unrealistic plan can do more harm than good. Instead, give yourself a little wiggle room for any last-minute purchases.
To make sure that your budget works effectively, track your spending. You can make a simple spreadsheet to help you do this. However, keeping a separate holiday fund in a dedicated bank account could work better. This approach makes it easier for you to keep day-to-day expenses separate from holiday spending.
Book Tickets Early
We all know that travel prices skyrocket during the holiday season. However, booking your tickets early can help cut down your costs significantly.
If you’re flying, you will most likely get more affordable tickets if you travel early. Apart from escaping hefty fares, this approach will also keep you safe from the holiday rush that leads up to a big celebration.
Save on Décor
Since you only get to use holiday decorations for a couple of days every year, there is no need to sink huge amounts of cash on them.
Avoid the tempting department store displays and hunt for deals at the budget stores online or in your local area. If you do this well, you will be able to find high-quality décor items at a fraction of the price.
Master a Dish for Potlucks
Instead of getting expensive pre-cooked meals from the nearest store, master one particular dish that you can take to any event – from your office party to the family holiday party. This way, you will be able to buy all the ingredients in bulk. Having a signature dish will also save you a lot of time, money, and hassle that comes with last-minute grocery runs.
Shop for Bargains
Whether you are shopping online or at a brick-and-mortar store, hunting bargains is a great way of cutting down your expenses.
If you are looking for a good way to do this, DontPayFull.com offers the perfect solution. This site allows you to get free coupons and promo codes from some of your favorite online shops. Since most holiday expenditure goes towards finding the perfect gift or outfit, this site can help you save a lot of time and money this holiday season.