The holidays are just around the corner and with it comes the added stress of having to pay for it all. While December can be described as joyful and giving, January can sometimes feel the opposite—regretful and nervous about all the extra bills headed your way.
In an effort to help you have a less stressful January next year and an even better December, we’re sharing 5 tips that’ll help you save money this holiday season.
1) Play a game
One easy way to spend less this Christmas is to only buy one gift. Games like Secret Santa, Left/Right, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, etc. are a great way to still spread the holiday cheer while saving money. You don’t need to buy gifts for every family member, as the important thing is the time spent together.
2) Set a spending limit
Before you set off to join the herds of people in the mall or scour the internet to shop online, talk to your friends and family about setting a spending limit for gifts. This will help you not go overboard and get creative with the gift-giving.
3) Make a list
Once you know who you’re buying for, make a list of what you need to buy―and then stick to it! It’s all too easy to go crazy while shopping if you don’t have anything to follow. (And no, following your heart doesn’t count, as the heart is all too giving this time of year.) This also goes for grocery shopping for all your holiday feasts and shopping for holiday décor and attire.
4) Stick to cash
Decide how much money you have to spend this season on gifts, food, décor, attire, etc. and then pull that exact amount out in cash, if possible. Once you’ve done that, divide it up into separate labelled envelopes based on the category. This will help you not overspend and help minimize the surprises in your bank account statements come January.
5) Give your time
Instead of buying gifts this Christmas, consider gifting your time. Think pet- or babysitting, dog walking, house or car cleaning, lawn mowing, snow removal, etc., or even just time spent together helping others.
Bonus tip: Start saving for next Christmas in January. The holidays are a lot more manageable if you’ve been putting away money each month instead of trying to come up with it all in November and December.