With the holiday season just around the corner, there are also important expenses: gifts, events, parties, dinners, family get-togethers, etc. It goes without saying that these expenses can have a detrimental effect on your personal finances. You wonder sometimes if it is even possible to spend this time of year without getting into debt. Fortunately, there are several easy-to-apply tips that can help you survive the holiday season, even on a tight budget:
Tips for a holiday season
- Budgeting: You probably already have a budget for the rest of the year, but it’s important during the holidays to include expenses such as gifts and outings in your calculations. After all, there is nothing that spoils a holiday souvenir more than a credit card statement in January.
- Make a list: Your list should include all the people for whom you want to buy gifts and what you want to offer them. This will help establish a concrete goal without spending more than you can afford.
- Respect your list! If there is an item that is not there, it is not necessary. Find out what you want to buy by entering the store and get out as soon as possible. Do not be tempted by the compulsive desire to buy!
- Take the time to shop for the best price: The perfect gift will bring a smile to your loved one’s mouth whether it cost you a fortune or not; you have access to the internet, take advantage of it to find the best price before buying.
- Do not forget your coupons: coupons are a simple and effective way to make real savings during the holidays. Do not leave money on the table!
- Take advantage of sales: You do not have to wait until November or December to buy your gifts. If you find something on your list at a reduced price, take advantage of it to save the cost during the holiday season.
- Speaking of sales: Many traders offer liquidation sales in late December and January to sell off their surplus Christmas merchandise. This is the perfect time to prepare your supply of gift cards, wrapping paper and other items that may not be useful right away, but will save you a lot of money next year. And who knows, there may be the perfect gift for your someone on your 2015 list!
- Be creative!: There is no more precious gift than the one you have carefully created yourself. If you have a talent for drawing, cooking, whatever it is, you can sow joy and save at the same time. The internet has all kinds of ideas to inspire you during this winter season. Enjoy your talent and get to work!
- Decorate less: Yes, you understand correctly. It is possible to decorate too much during the holidays. In addition, in many cases, by placing less decoration more strategically, the aesthetic effect can be amplified. In addition, using only decorations that are dear to you, the effect would be even more impressive to you.
- Participate in gift exchanges: When you see that the names on your list are multiplying and your budget is shrinking, it may be a good idea to try to make a secret gift exchange instead of buying a gift for everyone. In this way, you only have one gift to give and no one will be disappointed. This is a good strategy for parties with friends and office parties – your budget will be saved so you can better participate in the family celebration.
- Avoid abusing fairy lights: It may seem perfectly normal to illuminate your entire block to celebrate Christmas, but in reality this practice can be harmful to your Hydro-Québec bill and, let’s face it. it is not necessary. So save energy and money during the holidays and show discretion by installing your lights.
- Mission: Black Friday: If merchants in your area offer Black Friday sales, you might find the best prices of the year. So put on the dial, get up early and enjoy!
- Personalize your gifts: The price of a gift is immaterial when it comes from the heart. A gift well thought out and useful to the one who receives it can have an immense sentimental value. Take the time to think about the person to whom you are giving your gift, what they like and what they need. Your gifts will be very successful and you could even save a lot of money.
- To celebrate is not an obligation: If you are invited to several parties and suppers, it is not rude to apologize for the few; especially if you go to see the same people several times.
- The Christmas dinner should be a team effort: The Christmas dinner is a huge expense. It should not fall on the shoulders of one person. By asking all guests to bring a dish they have made themselves, you can save time and money, and at the same time the evening will be a little warmer thanks to this participation.
- Create and deliver your own Christmas cards: Christmas cards do not have to come from Hallmark. You can design and create maps yourself using recycled materials, custom color choices and your imagination. They will be unique and precious. Deliver them to your loved ones and neighbors by hand and they are guaranteed to be well received.
- Make charitable donations: In lieu of gifts, you can make charitable donations on behalf of your loved ones. Put a copy of the gift receipt in their Christmas cards and enjoy the holidays to help those who need it most.
- Take a break: The holidays can be a difficult time. Know that crushing stress will not help you save or budget. Sleep, take care of yourself and give yourself some rest before facing the excitement of the holidays. Your bank accounts will thank you.