The time of year has come when you get to indulge yourself in the spirit of the holidays. It’s time for family dinners, celebrations with friends, and of course, holiday shopping. Still, as gratifying as the holiday season promised to be, if you’re careless with your purchases you could end up putting a huge dent in your wallet. Preserve the holiday spirit by remembering a few tips.
Spending Plan for Presents
The idea of a holiday budget may sound uninviting. However, it’s the easiest way to keep a tab on your expenses while you are busy buying gifts. If you’re like many shoppers, you have yet to hit the stores but you have a good idea of the amount you plan to spend on gift giving. So, with your holiday-spending budget as your guide, make a list of loved ones and the amount you can afford to spend on each of them. Being prepared with your gift-buying budget will help you keep the holiday spirit while doing your last-minute shopping. This is one sure fire way to avoid spoiling your New Year with surprising bills.
Think of Alternative Gift Options
There are ways to save money when you’re gift-giving by getting creative and making gifts at home. Home-made sweets, seasoned cooking oils and barbeque rubs, and specialty breads are just a few ideas that make for excellent holiday gifts; especially for the Foodies on your list! Maybe you’ve even entertained the idea of buying group gifts and have talked to other family members about pooling money for more expensive presents. Either way you go, you’ll be spreading holiday cheer to those you care about!
Coupons, Groupon & Deals, Oh My
What better time to use those discount coupons than the holidays, when you have a list a mile long? Be on the lookout for special promotions and discounts, both in stores and online…they’re everywhere you look! Since this is the time of year when merchants get their most creative (and generous) with steals and deals, have your list and budget handy at all times so you’re ready to take advantage of their special offers. If your budget has some wiggle room, you may want to think about creating a gift drawer and buy and store presents for upcoming birthdays and other celebrations. Want to see what’s out there right now? Take a look at Groupon.com or your favorite merchants’ websites.
That Which Money Can’t Buy
It’s not always about gifts. The holiday season is about spending quality time with your family and friends and remembering what’s most important. It’s also a time for remembering those in need. Even if you can’t afford gifts or a monetary donation, your gift of time is just as important and meaningful to local organizations and charities that rely on the community for support; especially this time of year.
So, gifts or no gifts, gather the family, call friends over for dinner, play games with your kids, volunteer to serve a meal at a local church or shelter and spread some holiday cheer this year!