So long summer! And hello…Santa?
Every year, it feels like the holidays creep up faster and faster, and the next thing you know it’s December 24th. Although the holiday hype seems to start earlier every year, when it comes to saving, the sooner really is the better. From last minute gifts to broken decorations, unseen expenses often pop up around this festive time of a year. We’re here to make sure your budget is ready.
Here are our tips to help you start saving now, so your holiday doesn’t become a tinsel in a tangle.
12 Weeks a-Planning
Good plans make great results, so own that time management. Think along the lines of 12 weeks, or 3 months, until the big day. If you set aside $10 every Sunday, that’s already $120 saved!
11 Search Tabs Open
Research, research, research! The more you compare prices for presents and décor, the better idea you’ll have on how much you need to budget.
10 Stores a-Thrifting
Thrift and second-hand stores are fantastic for finding decorations, party clothing, and gifts! Make a list of all your local budget stores and see what hidden gems you can find.
9 Meals a-Cooking
There’s money hiding in your take-out. Try cooking meals more often at home than eating out. It’s not only great for building your budget, but for spending time with family. Plus, you can repack that meal as a lunch for work.
8 Hands a-Crafting
Making your home feel cozy and festive doesn’t have to cost a fortune. And you may already have more decor than you think! The internet is full of DIYs for all budget types. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
7 Apps a-Loading
One of your best budgeting tools fits right in your pocket. Apps like Mint, Wally, and Toshl Finance make it easy to set goals, track your spending, and manage your finances.
6 Bank Reminders
Most banks now offer a tool that rounds your everyday purchases up to the dollar, putting the leftover change into a savings account. Create an account labeled “Holiday Budget” and set it as your automated piggy bank.
5 Recycled Wrappings
Find a trove of left-over wrapping paper, tissue paper, bows, ribbons, or unused gifts from holidays past? Designate a box, shelf or bag where you can store all your salvageable gifting supplies, so you don’t waste money on duplicates. And hang onto used bows and gift bags! No one ever said anything’s wrong with re-gifting the gift bag.
4 Dropped Subscriptions
Unseen expenses may be bogging down your budget. Unsubscribe from any monthly or yearly services that you don’t need or use. Most streaming services cost about $10 a month, so based on the 3-month timeline, that’s another $30 in your pocket!
3 Unused Credit Cards
Hold that swipe! Instead of using your credit card for purchases, take out your monthly budget in cash. This will help you avoid paying interest and make it easier to stay within your budget.
2 Side Gigs
From doing handiwork to selling handicrafts, a seasonal side hustle can be a great way to make a little extra cash. Take a look online, there are plenty of options to choose from, even after the holidays!
And a Reminder to Take the Pressure Off!
It’s become a bit of a cultural expectation for us to create the “perfect” holiday experience. A tree full of presents, decorations on every surface, and a table full of extravagant food. It’s important to remember that these things aren’t what make the holidays meaningful, but rather who you spend the holidays with.
All you can do is your best. Even if your holiday budget doesn’t turn out quite as expected, celebrating with family, and getting together over good cheer is something special that money can’t buy.