How to Really Save Money on the Holidays
The Christmas and Hanuka holidays are times when we feel the spirit of giving and open our wallets to buy gifts, cards and decorations. This is by far the most expensive time of the year for many people. This year you can closely monitor your holiday spending and save a lot of money. Here’s how to really cut your holiday expenses.
Most of us receive gifts over the years that just gather dust or are put away and rarely seen again. Regift them to others who expect a gift from you, if they would be appreciated. Be careful not to give the same one to the person who gave it to you! This could help you save by not having to buy gifts for the people who will be getting re-gifted.
Don't Buy Gifts for People
Make a written list of all those friends, relatives, and colleagues who usually receive a gift from you. Contact each person and tell them that you must cut your expenses and therefore you won’t be buying gifts for them this year. Invite them to do the same. Let’s face it: a lot of gifts aren’t really appreciated anyway. You will save significant money on the holidays by not buying gifts. If you follow this plan you won't have to worry about re-gifting either.
If Some Gifts Are "Musts"
If you must buy some gifts do not purchase anything with a credit card. Use a debit card or cash only. If your bank account won’t permit that, then don’t buy anything. Make or bake it!
Eliminate or Reduce Holiday Cards
Don’t send holiday cards this year. Send everyone you can holiday wishes by email which is free. You can even send cyber greeting cards for free. You save on both the greeting cards and the stamps.
Forgo Decorations to Save Money on the Holidays
Skip the holiday decorations this year. You won’t have to buy anything and you’ll save on electricity. If you must have new decorations then make them yourself. But don’t plug them in.
Stay Out of Stores to Save Money on the Holidays
Stay out of malls and stores where you will be tempted to spend money. Don’t torture yourself by shopping. Instead, spend more time thinking about how to express gratitude and please loved ones, friends and colleagues without spending any money at all! Really the greatest gift from you is your time!
If Shopping is a Must for Some People
If you must go shopping and just have to buy gifts for a few people, then make a list beforehand with dollar amounts for each person. Then go with exactly that amount of cash. Leave your credit cards at home. Stick with the list. Buy nothing extra because it caught your fancy. Especially don’t buy anything for yourself!