The colors of the leaves are changing. Temperatures are falling. There is pumpkin spice everywhere. You understand what this means, correct? It’s the holidays! Prepare for an abundance of family time and festivities.
However, there is the potential for a gift-giving extravaganza at every gathering. Do not despair if purchasing gifts for all your friends and family fills your mind with dollar signs. This year, you need not empty your wallet to give your loved ones something special.
Before you go shopping, continue reading. Here are seven ways to save money while searching for the ideal gift. Keeping more of your pennies is an excellent way to enhance your holiday spirit.
1. Leveraging Your Debit Card
It is tempting to use a credit card for holiday purchases. You can purchase all of your gifts and make payments over time. That may sound appealing, but it will ultimately cost you more. Interest fees will accrue if you do not pay off your balance immediately. Consider paying with available funds to avoid incurring debt.
A fee-free debit card makes it easier to use your own cash and leaves you with more money. With most fee-free accounts, there is no minimum balance requirement. Therefore, you will not be subject to fees if your balance drops during the holidays. Some credit cards even offer round-up savings, which allow you to save as you spend. Every purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the difference is deposited directly into your savings account.
Establish Some Gift-Giving Limits
Buying holiday gifts for a large family can feel overwhelming. It can feel impossible to find something for everyone without breaking the bank. If you are concerned, there is a good chance that others are as well. Consider suggesting a spending cap to save money for everyone.
There are many ways to accomplish this. With Secret Santa, each participant purchases one gift (within a set budget) for a single recipient. Your group could also decide only to buy presents for those under 18 years old. If you are concerned about everyone feeling included, consider planning a family vacation. Everyone participates and contributes to the total cost.
Create a Holiday Budget
Not every family wishes to restrict gift-giving. That’s fine. Nevertheless, you can still control your spending if this is the case. It just requires some planning and determination. It is prudent to begin planning early in order to create a solid holiday budget.
Be realistic about the amount you can set aside for gifts. If you enjoy decorating your home for the holidays, don’t forget to budget for decorations. Holiday potlucks are also popular, so set aside funds to prepare your signature dish. Obviously, adhere to the budget as closely as possible. However, reserve a little extra in case you go slightly over.
Obtain A few Free Shipping
Currently, it can be difficult to get everyone together for the holidays. Travel is expensive, and it can be difficult to obtain sufficient time off work. Consequently, you will likely end up shipping a few gifts to loved ones. Depending on the items you purchase, the additional shipping costs may strain your budget.
You can avoid incurring this additional expense by taking advantage of Free Shipping Day. This year, it takes place on December 14, and over a thousand major retailers participate. In addition to offering free shipping, they guarantee that gifts shipped on that day will arrive by December 24. As a further incentive, many retailers have eliminated minimum purchase requirements. You avoid crowds and save money; it’s a win-win situation!
During the holidays, you don’t need a side hustle to “make” extra money. Occasionally, examining where you’re already spending money quickly suffices. Are you willing to make a few sacrifices for approximately one month? If so, you can make a substantial contribution to your own gift fund.
Do you routinely run through the drive-through for a $5 latte in the morning? If you make your own coffee for a month, you can save $150. Once a week, does your family eat at a restaurant? Even at a modest family restaurant, it is difficult to spend less than $60 on four people. By preparing four additional meals, you’ve added an additional $240 to the total. Giving up some luxuries is a simple way to increase your vacation budget.
Avoid Sending Conventional Holiday Cards
With the majority of snail mail being bills and advertisements these days, sending a holiday card may sound appealing. However, between the cost of the cards and postage, it can be costly. Depending on the number of greeting cards you send, you can easily spend $100.
By switching to digital cards, you can instead keep the savings. Numerous websites are offering free e-cards. They offer multiple designs that can be personalized with family photographs and music. You can create holiday cards from the comfort of your home and avoid visiting the post office to purchase stamps.
Give the Present of Time
Don’t worry if your budget is extremely tight this year. You can still give meaningful gifts to those you care about. This is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate your care for others by giving them your time. That is the gift that many individuals would prefer anyway.
Someone in your family recently become a parent? Consider providing a free night of babysitting or offering to do some laundry. Do you have an elderly neighbour who has difficulty with household chores or errands? Consider tasks such as raking their leaves, shoveling their driveway, and grocery shopping. Giving them another trinket will be of much less significance than reducing their burden.
The holidays are a time to express your gratitude to your loved ones. This does not necessitate breaking the bank, however. Keep these tips in mind when shopping for family- and budget-friendly gifts.