With the winter holidays right around the corner, spending on gifts, decorations, and party planning is about to become more and more routine! During this time it is easy to get carried away and spend over your expected, and intended, budget. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you save some of your holiday money and avoid that end of the year deficit.
Make a budget and stick to it! Figure out a set amount of money that you can afford to take out of your pay check each month for gifts or other holiday expenses. Write that number down and track how much of it you’ve used each month. If you know you only have that set amount for purchasing gifts, then you know how much you can spend on each person you are planning on giving a gift to.
Building off that last tip, make a list of the people you are planning on giving gifts to this holiday season. When you have purchased someone a gift, physically cross them off your list so you don’t end up trying to buy them something else later on! Working your way through your list will help you check that you haven’t missed anyone and you haven’t over-spent on double gifting.
Have something specific in mind for someone? Save time and money by finding a deal online instead of hunting down a specific gift in store and running the risk of being tempted and distracted by multiple options. Tracking a gift online can also help you compare costs across different stores that offer that item, helping you find the most affordable option.
When shopping online make sure the websites you are accessing are secure, as to not invite cybercriminals. An easy way to determine if a website is secure is to check for a padlock icon next to the website URL. If you do not see this icon, think twice about making a purchase as your credit card information may not be safe. If possible, make a trip to the vendor’s physical store and you will be assured of a safe shopping experience.
Instead of going out and buying something brand new, consider creating your own special gift! Hand-made, personalized gifts can often be the most heart-warming and cherished. If you find a gift that seems to be DIY-able, you can likely find a tutorial online for that very craft; this could also allow you to make the item even more personalized and specific to your loved one. Check out this article about personalized DIY gifts for some starting ideas.
Saving money and spoiling your friends and family can go together if you put in a little extra effort this holiday season. Don’t break the bank by making the mistake of double gifting or disregarding a budget with an expensive gift to make a loved one feel special. Let them all feel the love by personalizing, planning, and prioritizing your purchases wisely!