Budgeting for the Holidays
Be mindful with money this season! Along with holiday joy come holiday bills, to avoid a sleigh-size tab, plan ahead to save money and maximize the payoff.
ORDER ONLINE Avoid getting stuck in the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers by ordering gifts online from your laptop or phone. The time you save can be put towards spending more time with friends and family.
BE THRIFTY Start early and keep an eye out for special sales. Many retailers have Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to help you get a jumpstart on holiday shopping. Get inspired with coupons and get into the routine of flipping through flyers delivered to your home and online
TRUST YOUR BUDGET It keeps you on track during the rest of the year, so why not lean on it now? Starting the season with a plan and a maximum spending limit will help alleviate stress while shopping. There are plenty of free budget-tracking apps that connect right to your bank accounts and can be pulled out of your pocket for reference at any time – especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed at the mall.
GET CRAFTY Everyone appreciates the handmade touch in a gift, and DIY-ing this holiday can help you save money. There are wonderful options that can be found online, even for beginners. Examples include homemade wreaths, body scrubs, and fun photo scrapbooks that can be done alone or in a group, and you’ll end up with a gift that money can’t buy. If you’re not sure where to find these clever and cost-effective ideas, Pinterest is a great place to start.
GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME Instead of buying gifts, spend quality time with your friends and family while you give back to others. Sharing the experience and splitting the cost of hosting a dinner for a family in need will offset the cost of spending money on each person and double the amount of joy spread during the holidays. It feels good to pay in kind.
HOSTING A PARTY?
Think ahead: Start thinking about your ingredients early and keep an eye out for sales on nonperishable goods. By beating the holiday rush, you can afford more goodies for less.
BE RESOURCEFUL Hosting a large gathering? Ask each of your guests to bring a dish. This costeffective tip will act as conversation starter too.
EARN REWARDS A number of retailers offer cards where you can earn points toward future purchases, including entertainment.
CHOOSE WISELY Your time matters, so spend more of it with your guests and less of it in the kitchen. Pick a short and easy recipe that won’t cost a lot to make. Prepare as much as you can the morning or day before for a smoother hosting experience.