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Holiday Savings Series – Part 2: Simple Holidays Savings Tips

Dec 1, 2016

The Thanksgiving leftovers are put away and you've survived Black Friday weekend. Now, the holiday shopping season is officially here!

With all of the joy of the season comes the headache of budgeting for gifts, but with a little bit of planning and creativity, you can enjoy your holiday knowing your finances will remain intact when the new year hits.

4 Simple Holiday Savings Tips

Create a budget

There are several options when creating a holiday budget. The most straightforward is to identify an overall spending limit and stick to it. Another way is to delegate a specific amount to each person on your list before you set out to the store. Be sure to set a budget that is neither too tight nor unrealistic. It’s also a good idea to allow room for last-minute purchases, such as a forgotten Secret Santa gift exchange at work or wrapping paper. Factoring in these items will prevent a series of minor setbacks from derailing the entire budget. Be realistic when setting your spending limits so when the time comes to hand over your credit card, you know exactly how much money you have available.

Keep an eye on the sale

It may seem like a no-brainer, but pay close attention to specific sales when shopping for holiday gifts. Some stores keep the original prices and just mark them as if they were on sale. Be sure to compare prices online and in stores to guarantee you are getting the most for your money. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two big sale days during the holiday season, most retailers have deals all the way up to Christmas Eve. Sign up for the email lists for your favorite retailers to be updated in real time on flash sales and last-minute deals.  

Make a list

Identifying who you need to buy gifts for is helpful when budgeting for the holidays. It is easy to go into a store and overspend on gifts for one person. Keep a running list of purchases in your phone or wallet so you can track how much of your allotted budget is going to each individual.

It’s the thought that counts

Although the spirit of giving is in the air during the holidays, if you are serious about sticking to a budget, be transparent with your loved ones. Express to your friends and family that celebrating the holidays is important to you, but you are trying to make wise financial choices this year. Then come up with alternatives you can do together! Here are a few suggestions for gifts that don’t involve much spending:

  • Bake cookies with a loved one
  • Drive around to look at the decorated houses in your neighborhood with friends
  • Find an inexpensive holiday craft to make together
  • Volunteer at a nonprofit close to your heart

The key to saving money during the holidays is to make a budget, stay disciplined, but also remain realistic. And remember, the holidays are about spending time with friends and loved ones, so make the most of the season and don’t let the price of gifts keep you from enjoying the holiday cheer.

More Holiday Savings Tips:

Read the rest of our 2016 Holiday Savings series:
Part 1 – Black Friday Shopping Tips
Part 3 – Last Minute Shopping Advice (Coming Soon!)


Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor
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