The holidays are supposed to be a time of cheer and joy for you and your family. However, your spending habits could put you in jeopardy after a holiday of enjoyment. Research shows that Americans can spend an average amount of $882 during the holidays resulting in many of them falling into debt come the New Year. Flashy advertisements showing big sales makes the threat of overspending and impulse buying all too real. By following these money saving tips, you will be able to keep both your pockets and your family happy while staying out of debt through the holiday season.
Set A Budget
You need to make a realistic budget with some wiggle room for special gifts or last-minute purchases. Consider the costs you might incur so include money in your budget for any unexpected costs to avoid being in disarray later. Create one before the season picks up and keep checking on it to ensure you are spending within the budget.
Cheaper Holiday Traditions
There are several inexpensive traditions and activities you can try that will help you save money while still being enjoyable. A good example is DIY gifts that you can make with resources you already have or that are cheaper to buy. You can also have DIY holiday decorations that you can reuse instead of buying new ones every year. After all, tradition is more about the time spent together than the money you spend.
Buying food and décor for holiday parties can take a toll on your wallet. Potlucks are the way to go in terms of holiday parties. You can prepare the main dish and suggest that your guests bring drinks, desserts, appetizers, and sides. You can assign specific potluck assignments to avoid having 2 dishes of the same thing.
Money Saving Apps
Apps like Ibotta, Retail me not, and Ebates will be your saving grace during the holidays.
Ibotta is a mobile app that will pay you for shopping at your favorite retailers by offering you rebates and cashback from some of your favorite stores. Although Ibotta is known mainly as a cash back shopping app for groceries, they also offer rebates on clothing, gifts, electronics, and dining out at your favorite restaurant. You can sign up for an account on their website, but to earn rebates and cashback, you’ll need to download their mobile app. Learn more about Ibotta and how to get your $10 Welcome bonus HERE.
Ebates.com is a rewards website where members can earn up to 25% cash back on their online purchases at over 1,200 online stores without having to redeem points, mail in forms, or pay membership fees. Learn more about Ebates.com and how to get your free $10 cash back bonus HERE.
You can use these apps to check for online prices before buying anything to ensure you are getting a good deal. Shopping online is also a good way to shop smart if physical shopping can make you overspend.
Shop Clearance Sales
A clearance sale is a smart way to shop for the holidays as you can get lots of things at very cheap prices.
Do Not Open Store Credit Cards
The “10-20% discount if you sign up for a store credit card” may sound appetizing, but did you know that store credit card interest can be as high as 30%. Just say no to store credit cards as it may leave you in a sea of debt you may still be swimming in year to come. If you shop with your credit card you already possess, use one with a lower interest rate and track spending on this card so you do not lose track. Take advantage of credit card rewards as well.
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Digital Greeting Cards
Digital greeting cards are cheaper if not free and you will not need postage. They can even play music as a free and fun way to catch up with loved ones.
Paying cash only will be very helpful especially if you have had problems over utilizing your credit cards in the past. Set a specific limit on the amount you want to use based on your budget. Take that amount from the bank or credit union and when it is finished, that is a done deal.
Go Through Your Gift Lists
Make a list of everyone you want to gift and go through the list to determine how much you will spend on each person. If your budget will not cover it, go through the list again to cut amounts or names.
Don’t fall victim to Holiday debt. Instead enjoy your holidays by following these money saving tips.