As the holidays approach us, we are constantly trying to stretch every last dollar in our pocket. Between buying gifts, spending money on food, providing hospitality for our families, etc… yet the main thing being affected is one’s bank account. Here are some tips on how to get your money right for the holidays:
- Make a list:
If you like to go crazy and buy presents for everyone you know, it’s always smart to sit down and make a list of exactly who you plan to surprise. Whether it’s the neighbor, your parents or maybe even the mail man, it will make your holidays stress free and also help keep you on track with where you are at on your list.
- Be realistic:
At this point, I am not going to tell you to begin early considering it’s already a week or so into December. What I will tell you is that you should be realistic and keep it real with your family. Don’t get their hopes up on some out of the question gift; don’t promise your child a BMW if you know they are getting a Passat. Not only are you setting them up for disappointment, but you are also adding to your stress by not being able to deliver. There’s nothing wrong with buying a cheap present for someone. After all, it’s the thought that counts right?
- Get crafty:
I know it sounds time consuming and you are probably thinking, if I had time for activities like that I would have done it by now right? But the thing is, people love homemade/handcrafted gifts. If you are worried that you aren’t the crafty type, don’t stress. Today’s technology offers plenty of different apps and websites such as Pinterest where you can easily get step-by-step ideas to create fun and memorable gifts for your loved ones.
- Have a pot luck:
If you are like me, then you probably have a huge family gathering during the holidays. The more people the better right? But what about all of the money you are going to spend on buying groceries and food for everyone? Who is going to compensate you for that? This holiday season try something different. Throw out the idea of cooking a huge meal and inviting everyone over, and instead send out an invitation to as many people as you’d like, but tell them it’s a pot luck. Whether it’s a bag of chips, a bottle of wine or a full cooked meal, tell them anything and everything counts. You’d be surprised at the variety of choices you will have, and you will also be very content with yourself once you look at your bank account.
- No Cost-Holiday Shipping:
If you are a last minute shopper such as me, you’re probably too busy to go to the malls and look for things to buy. Most likely, you will turn to the internet and purchase your gifts online. You find amazing sales but then they add the shipping and handling price, which basically makes up for the discount especially if you want the expedited option. In this case you’re probably wondering what to do next right? Well I’ve got good news for you, on December 18th, more than 1,000 online merchants such as Best Buy, L.L. Bean, etc. will offer free shipping and delivery by Christmas Eve. You can check out www.freeshippingday.com for details on the participants and deals.
Now that I’ve given you some tips and websites, take full advantage of all you can to stretch every last penny this holiday season. I promise you won’t regret it, and if you have any other tips or ideas feel free to comment and share your experiences.