You might not feel in the holiday spirit yet but before you know it will be here. While it will surely be a very different season with holiday parties and travel plans to visit relatives being cancelled due to health guidelines, it does provide us an opportunity to save money.
The one thing that remains the same year over year is everyone continues to search for the deals without putting themselves into debt. This year is unprecedented with so many still out of work and on a limited income. Capping spending is more important than ever. When it comes to holiday shopping, think of it as a marathon not a sprint. With a little smart preparation, you can stay within your budget and avoid unnecessary stress.
Here are 10 tips to keep the holidays bright (and on budget).
(1) Set a limit. Set an overall holiday spending limit on all items. Take into account all presents, decorations, gift wrap, groceries, alcohol, and other incidentals.
(2) Live by a list. Make a gift list and assign an exact dollar amount to each gift. This will help you stick to your plan and avoid overspending.
(3) Talk about gift giving. If you are struggling financially, chances are so are the people around you. Talk to family/friends about forgoing gift giving or drawing names. Be the one who starts the conversation. Everyone will thank you.
(4) Cross them off. Cross people/items off your list as you shop so you don’t buy overbuy.
(5) Be a savy shopper. Look for deals. Check out flyers, take advantage of the tax-free sales, free shipping, and on-line deals/offers.
(6) Buy local. This holiday season keep local businesses solvent and communities thriving by buying a gift card to your local favorite restaurant, shopping local online or shipping a Nova Scotia gift to a loved one.
(7) Be creative. Use your talents to create a personal and inexpensive gift. Frame a cherished photo, sew a funny fabric face mask, make baked goodies or just give a card with a very personal handwritten message. Showing you care doesn’t have to break the bank.
(8) Be rewarded. The holidays are a great time to use the reward points you saved all year. Check balances on Air Miles, Optimum, and credit card rewards. Got unused gift cards? Why not regift or use them as something nice for someone else.
(9) Cash is King. While credit is easy and does provide rewards, it’s best not to incur anymore revolving debt until the future becomes more certain. Pay cash/debit when possible. If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it.
(10) Quit shopping. Stop when you are done. Remember what debt you create today you will have to pay it back in the future.
Make the holidays about the giving and not about the gift.
Looking for more holiday money saving tips? Check out Ted’s 25 Holiday Saving Tips on Salyzyn Instagram @mydebtfix or our Salyzyn Facebook page.