Although a generally joyful time of the year, the holidays are also often a very stressful time of the year. Strained relationships and small budgets are just the beginning of your holiday stressors. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, and you shouldn’t have to spend the entire last few months of the year carefully counting pennies to make sure you can enjoy the holidays and also manage to pay the bills. Here are a few more ways that you can save money during the holidays this year.
Cut back on the extras
It can be hard to know where the limit is between making sure you have an enjoyable holiday season, and spending a little bit too much on the extras that you could easily go without. Think about where else you could be spending that money as you wait in line at the mall to take a very expensive photo of your child sitting on Santa’s lap. Or while you’re waiting in line at Starbucks for that speciality holiday latte with extra whipped cream. These things may not seem like they’d make that much of an impact on your overall budget. To put things into perspective, let’s do a little math. Let’s say that you indulge in a latte three times a week, which costs about $4.50. Over the course of just one month, you’ll spend $162 on coffee that you could’ve made at home. That’s easily the cost to buy yourself a coffee machine! Recognizing when these costs isn’t necessary is a great start to saving this season.
Implement a “Secret Santa” approach to gifting
If you come from a large family or have a large friend group, you know how expensive it gets to get gifts for every single person you care about in your life. Although it would be nice to be able to give nice gifts to every single one of them, that’s just not very budget friendly. Suggesting a secret santa approach will save all of you money, which may be what a lot of your friends and family are needing, as well. Simply put everyone’s names into a hat, and then have everyone draw a name from the hat. The person they draw is who they’ll get a gift for for the holidays. This way everyone still gets a thoughtful gift, but it’s much more affordable.