The holiday season is here and each year it gets a little more tricky to find the perfect gift for your special someone. Whether you’re shopping for friends, family, work colleagues, or estranged cousins, here are 10 rock-solid tips for saving money during the most hectic time of year.
1.Stick to a Budget
Perhaps the most straightforward tip one can give, having a firm budget in mind before shopping is paramount to success. The holiday season is not about gift-giving as much as it’s a byproduct of the time we get to spend with loved ones toward the end of the year. Do not overextend your means by buying the most luxurious gift in the mall, instead, set a budget for yourself that keeps you firmly within your means, and more thoughtful, creative gifts will be given instead of those with the highest price tag.
2.Shop as Early as Possible
While this advice comes on the heels of Black Friday, it is always important to shop year-round for holiday gifts. There is no longer one set of extreme deals during the Thanksgiving holiday. Retailers, brands, and suppliers provide year-round sales events to entice product movement, and you can take advantage of those sales before the holiday panic. In addition, almost every single retailer began their holiday sales events at the end of October in 2022, providing you with the perfect opportunity to shop online ahead of the rush.
3.Use Cost Saving Tricks
Going hand-in-hand with shopping early, it’s important that you use every cost-saving trick in the book to come out ahead. When shopping in-store, check to make sure there aren’t coupons available for your purchase. If you’re starting your shopping online, leverage cast-back websites and credit cards to ensure that you are rewarded for your purchases. To take full advantage of the sales companies have, use cost-tracking websites like Camel Camel Camel to ensure that the products on sale are truly a good value rather than a product that has been marked down to a standard discounted rate. Following these steps will ensure that you’re ahead of the sales game, rather than assuming it’s the best price.
Treating yourself is important year-round, but understanding your means during the holiday season means skipping the luxurious self-gift this year. Instead, consider making a payment towards any debts you have or saving for future payments. The best gift is to remain ahead and treating your future self may be more beneficial in the long-term than a quick gift.
5.Give in Non-Traditional Ways
Not every gift has to be materialistic. Millions of people worldwide would prefer a phone call, a night on the town, a girl’s night, a game night, or even a homemade coupon book to ring in the new year with friends and family. Gifts can be lost to time, but the memories you make from more non-traditional gifts will guarantee happiness for years to come.
Making your own gift may be the most special gift you give this holiday season. Even if you aren’t a crafty person, taking the time and effort to make something for your special someone will highlight the time, care, and creativity involved in the gift-giving process. Skip the expensive price tags at the store and consider making your next best gifts.
7.Food Brings People Together
If you don’t want to make a product by hand, consider making food! The perfect memory for a great day always revolves around the meals you share. Putting together your friend’s favorite dish or your mom’s favorite casserole shows how much you care while keeping your budget firmly in place.
8.Remembrance in All Forms
Making memories during the holidays is just as important as remembering your best memories year-round. Giving your loved ones a photo book of the best photos and memories you have with them is an incredible gift to give for any occasion. With phones and computers doing most of the remembering, it’s important to have a physical photo album to peruse when sitting by the fire.
9.Build Local Traditions
It may seem important to spend your money flying around the world this holiday season, but it’s just as important to stay put. Holiday flights and travel are notoriously expensive and this is the year to stay put and build traditions that last a lifetime. Make a fire, grab your favorite photo book, make a homemade meal, and share this holiday with your favorite people.
10.Don’t Overdo It
Perhaps the most important lesson of all is, do not overdo your gifts. Don’t buy the most luxurious necklace at the store. Don’t buy the most expensive gift basket. Don’t get 4,000 roses for your spouse. Don’t try the 400-step recipe that ends in a burnt turkey. Simply be present and attentive with your gift-giving this holiday season, and you’re bound to save money, headaches, and heartache.
Plan for the Future
The secret eleventh tip is to plan accordingly for the future. During your time off work this holiday season, it’s important to plan for your family’s future. Study financial literacy topics and explore ways to be more financially prudent in 2023. Understanding where you are, where you’re headed, and how to remain in the best possible financial shape throughout the year will ensure that the next holiday season always remains the best one.
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The information contained in this article is meant to serve as general guidance for consumers and not meant to serve as comprehensive financial advice. For questions about your individual circumstance, finances, or accounts, please contact your creditor(s) and/or financial advisor directly.
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