The holiday season is upon us once again! ‘Tis the season of giving, and that often means spending. Lots of spending. But just because everyone else is racking up credit card debt doesn’t mean you have to. This is the perfect opportunity to get creative and save some money. So before you start your holiday shopping, check out these tips for staying financially fit this holiday season.
Set a budget—and stick to it!
The first step to staying financially fit during the holidays is to set a budget—and then stick to it. Determine how much you can afford to spend on gifts, travel, food, etc., and then make a list of all the people you need to buy for. Once you know how much money you have to work with, you can start getting creative with your gift-giving.
Get creative and save money
1. Set a budget and stick to it
2. Get creative with your gift-giving
3. Shop sales and use coupons
4. Make your gifts
5. Draw names in your family or group of friends
6. Exchange services instead of gifts
7. Have a potluck party instead of catering
8. Celebrate at home instead of going out
9. Delay some of your holiday spendings until after the holidays
10. Use a credit card that offers cash back or rewards
One of the best ways to save money during the holidays is to DIY as many gifts as possible. This year, why not crochet a scarf for your Aunt Martha or bake some homemade cookies for your neighbor? Not only will your loved ones appreciate the thoughtfulness of a handmade gift, but they’ll also be impressed by your mad crafting skills!
Make a holiday savings plan
If you know you’re going to need extra cash for holiday expenses like travel and gifts, start saving now! Open up a dedicated savings account and set aside a little bit of money each week leading up to the holidays. This way, when December rolls around, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
When it comes time to do your holiday shopping, take advantage of deals and discounts whenever possible. Join retailers’ email lists so you can be among the first to know about sales, and search for coupons before heading to the store or checkout page. You can also download cash-back apps like Ibotta or Rakuten to earn money back on your holiday purchases. Just be sure not marry any purchase just because it’s discounted—only buy what you need (and will use)!
Use rewards points
If you’ve been racking up rewards points all year long, now’s the time to cash them in! Many retailers offer bonus points or special rewards during the holidays, so be sure to take advantage of those if possible. You can also use points from credit cards or loyalty programs like Airlines Rewards to help offset travel costs or score some freebies for your friends and family.
The holidays don’t have to break the bank! By following these simple tips, you can stay financially fit this holiday season without sacrificing quality or quantity when it comes to gift giving—or anything else. So put down that credit card and get creative! Your wallet (and your loved ones) will thank you for it later.