It is quite easy to save during the holiday season because discounts and coupons are available during this period. However, sometimes we get carried away and buy more than we need. The advertisements and attractive things can distract us during the holiday season. Items can be expensive during Christmas. Sometimes it is best to shop after the holiday season. You are more likely to find good sales for expensive items. The gifts for everybody can leave you broke if you don’t stick to your budget or find cheap ways to get gifts. In order to stay on budget, you have to shop smart. Shopping smart will allow you to save money during the holiday season. Let’s see how to stay on a budget during the holiday season.
10 Ways to stay on a budget during the holiday season
Plan out your budget and stick to it
Make a plan to navigate how to spend your budget. Impulsive shopping can be prevented when you have a plan. Make a list of the things you need and buy them first. If you are buying gifts, list all the people by name and write down what you will buy. Make sure you go to the aisle with the things on your list. Sometimes we get distracted by visiting other aisles and end up buying things that are not needed. This is the challenge that most people have and need to work on. Make your list and take it with you while you shop. It will help you to focus on the things you plan to buy.
Use Coupons and discounts
Collect and save all your coupons throughout the year. During the holidays use the coupons and discount to save some cash. Just make sure you use them before they expire. If you don’t see any discount advertised then ask the sales representative about upcoming and current sales. You can also negotiate if there is no current sale. You may get a reduction if you ask and save some extra cash.
Shopping online can be cheaper than actually visiting the store. You can be qualified for free shipping and access discounts. Some online stores offer attractive deals everyday. You don’t have to travel and reduce transportation cost. You can also get unique items online that may not be available in traditional stores. You won’t walk out the store with things that were not on your budget list. You will look for the items you need online and add it to your cart.
Do not wait until December to shop for your Christmas gifts. Start shopping as early as September. Even though there is sales and discount during the holiday season. Things are still expensive. People want to make profits during the holiday season so prices will skyrocket. Try to shop early so you can save you some money. Another option is to shop after Christmas. Stores are trying to clear out stock and items and sell things cheaper. You can take advantage of this.
Bulk shopping is an effective way to save money. Why shop alone? Call your friends and shop together during the holidays. When you get the items in bulk you can share it evenly among yourselves. It could be clothes, soap, alcohol, curtains and other non-perishable food items. You don’t have to worry about anything being spoiled.
Use cash instead of credit cards
Using cash instead of credit cards can limit your spending. You are more likely to buy more items with a credit card but with cash, you will limit your spending. It is easier to swipe than it is to hand over the cash. If your budget is $200, once you reach 200 you stop spending. However, with a credit card, you can continue to spend and then pay the bill after. This makes it difficult to stop buying items. You are likely to find yourself in debt after the holiday season. If you are afraid of walking around with cash you can limit your credit card spending to prevent overspending.
Do not limit your shopping to one location but visit several stores and compare prices. You can select the store with the lowest price and stay on budget. It will require a lot of physical activity but it will be worth every penny. If you are shopping online you can easily compare prices while you shop and select the lowest price.
Reuse Christmas decorations and items
Christmas decorations and trees can get pricey during the holiday seasons. You can save money by reusing items from last year. If you bought an artificial tree then you can use it again and decorate your Christmas trees. Just make sure you buy items that are long-lasting. Spray over furniture instead of buying new items. Fix items and repair them instead of buying new ones. The wrapping papers for the Christmas gifts can be saved and use again for next year.
Make your gifts
Buying gifts for your family and friends can strain on your pocket. How about making your gifts? It will be very special if you make gifts for family and friends. It can also have more meaning than randomly buying something from a store. Your friends and family will appreciate the time you spend to create their gifts. There are various DIY gift ideas that you can try and use materials found in your home. The gifts will be at no cost but still be valuable.
Make or bake it
During the Christmas season, people order cakes instead of baking. If you bake your own Christmas cakes you will be saving some cash. Even if you are not good you can make it a tradition and you will get better every year. Homemade dishes and juices can allow you to stay on budget. Homemade food is healthier and safer. You can have fun with the family while you prepare homemade cakes and meals. Instead of going to an expensive restaurant, prepare meals at home. If you want to have a Christmas dinner then everyone can contribute to the dinner and lift the financial burden off the host. Don’t be afraid to ask for contribution if you find yourself going outside of your budget.
The key to staying on budget during the holiday season is to reduce your spending. Take advantages of sales and discounts when you shop. If you have a credit card limit the spending or use cash. You can also shop online and access discounts and good deals. Do not force yourself to buy everyone expensive gifts. Handmade gifts are meaningful and valuable.