Is it just me or do the holidays always seem to sneak up on us? Obviously, time flies. And…if it weren’t for the Frugal Fall Savings Challenge, I’d likely not be anywhere close to prepared. I don’t have a huge family that I buy holiday gifts for, but there’s still money to be spent. I know I’m not alone, and that’s why I’m sharing 8 ways to save more money during the holiday season.
The holidays may sneak up on you, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to save more money. Consider the tips below when you start mapping out your holiday spending plan. And yes, you do need a holiday spending game plan! These ways to save should be incorporated!
#1 Give Yourself a Spending Limit
I can’t stress this enough. When you have a set limit, you know when to stop. If you go into the mall with no limit in sight, you’re bound to spend more than you should. If you’ve never given yourself a spending limit before, reflect on past holiday seasons. Do you have an idea of how much you spent in the past? Did that number hurt you financially?
If you have no place to start, give yourself the same amount you spent last year. My main purpose for you is to be realistic. If you spent $1000 on gifts last year, giving yourself a limit of $250 this year isn’t very realistic. When your limits aren’t realistic, you’re more likely to exceed them – which can make you feel bad. Give yourself a number that’s realistic but also won’t put you significantly behind if spent.
#2 Cut Back on Extras During the Holiday Months
Did you start planning for the holidays later than planned? The best plan of attack will be to cut back on the extras while you make your way through the holiday months. Instead of going out to eat multiple times a week, stay home, and use that money to help pay for gifts.
Keep in mind that the extra cutbacks are only temporary. Once the holidays are over, you can go back to your old spending patterns. The whole point is to make sure you’re not spending more money than you can afford to during the holiday season.
#3 Consider the Secret Santa Method
When you think about past holiday seasons and how quickly they add up, it could be time to start suggesting other gift-giving methods. If you have a large family, suggest the Secret Santa method. Everyone picks a random name and gets a gift for that person. No one is left out and you don’t have to buy gifts for so many people.
If the Secret Santa method doesn’t work well for your friends and family, suggest a gift-giving limit. No one can exceed $25 on a gift. Most likely, your friends and family also have budgets they’re sticking to. Your suggestion could be helping them stay on track as well!
#4 Avoid Self-Gifting
This is a hard one to do. I say that because I’ve been notorious for buying myself stuff when the holiday sales pop up. The thing is its money spent that shouldn’t be. It’s money that could be used to help you stick to your other gift-giving limits. If there are a few things you need and you’ve been waiting for the right time, different story. Just don’t go overboard with buying things for yourself. That’s a sure-fire way to throw your budget down the drain.
#5 Price-Matching is a Thing
Big name stores are all open to price-matching. Basically, if you find an item you bought at one store for less at another store, take it back to your store and get the difference refunded to you. This can help you save more money, but does require work and research on your part. You have to keep your eyes and ears open as you’re buying gifts. You also need to keep all your receipts handy. However, if you do this right, you could rack up quite a bit of savings!
#6 Be Cautious with Sales
Sales are designed to get people to spend more money than they should. While you think you’re getting a discount (and technically you are), if you weren’t planning on spending that money, it doesn’t matter how great of a discount your getting. You’re still spending money that you shouldn’t be. As long as you have your limits set, you’ll know that sales can only take you so far. Proceed with caution and stick to your limits – you’ll be just fine!
#7 Look for Coupons and Coupon Codes
The internet is a fascinating thing! If you haven’t scoured it already looking for coupons and coupon codes, your mind will be blown! When you have an idea of the gifts you want to buy, do an internet search to see if there are any coupons available for those gifts. You may be able to save more money on your gifts, simply by doing a little research.
#8 Start Shopping Early
The best thing you can do for your money and budget is to start shopping early! When you get an early start, you aren’t panicked. You can wait to see if better sales will come, or wait to see if the item gets marked own. You have time to pay the best price for your gifts. Get your holiday spending game plan in order and soon as possible. It will make for a much smoother holiday shopping experience!
Related: How to Avoid Holiday Spending Anxiety
The holidays don’t have to leave you broke! In fact, they should leave you ready to start the new year on a positive note! The ways to save more money during the holiday season listed above should definitely help! If you have any other ways you save money during the holidays, I’d love to know. Post a comment below to share the different ways you save money over the holidays.
The CGS Team