How to Save Money this Holiday Season

With the fall season always comes the slight feeling of panic that the holiday shopping season will quickly be upon us, and if you haven't started saving up some money for it yet, now is about the time to start thinking about it.

The holidays can be so expensive - throwing money into gifts, food, baked goods, charities, etc. So is it possible to have a fabulous holiday season with your family without breaking the bank? Of course it is, but many people don't know how to go about doing so.

Here are just a few tips to get you started - you'll be shocked to see how much money you can actually save this holiday season, and even more shocked by the places you can save a few extra bucks.

Manage Your Budget Better

Obviously, the quickest and easiest way to save money during the holidays is to be more aware of your budget and how much money you actually have set aside (if any) to spend on family and friends, or all of those extra necessities for dinner parties or company gatherings.

The easiest way to manage your budget better is to create an easy-to-read spreadsheet that outlines all of the people on your shopping list (or all of the holiday events that you'll have to buy supplies to prepare for), what you'd like to get for them, and how much money you have to spend on them. Do not let yourself exceed your allotted budget for each person or each function, and make sure you track all of your purchases as soon as you make them.

Having your budget laid out in visual form right in front of your eyes will make it more difficult for you to exceed that budget. You can't pull money out of thin air, so having a hard copy of the budget should help to keep you on track and stop you from over-spending.

Utilize the Contents of the Recycling Bin for Gift Wrap

Often times, some of the largest sums of money are spent purchasing just bows and ribbons and other little trinkets to adorn the wonderful gifts that you've purchased for your friends or family members. This year, forgo the fancy gift wrap and wrap your gifts using completely unique and uncommon materials.

Your recycling bin is a great place to start - use the comics section of your local newspaper to wrap boxes and give your gift recipients a good laugh as they open their gift. You can even use other recycled paper or even aluminum foil. Get creative with the recycled goods that you use and don't be afraid to try new things to save some money on wrapping paper!

Buy 1 Holiday Outfit that Can be Worn Several Ways

If you have several parties to get to this holiday season, you're probably in a slight panic about how many new outfits you now have to go out and buy. This year, how about buying just one outfit or just one dress that can be worn several different ways and wear it to each party differently?

You'll save yourself the financial burden of having to purchase multiple holiday outfits, and all you need to change things up is a simple cardigan to go over a dress or some new jewelry to go with a fancy sweater. A different pair of pants and shoes can also drastically change the look of an outfit.

Buy something that's versatile enough to be changed easily, but that's still dressy enough for a holiday party. You'll end up saving hundreds of dollars on outfits that you would otherwise wear once and never think about again!

Pay Cash

Probably the easiest way to help yourself stay within your holiday budget is to have the money that you've designated to the holidays taken out of your bank or savings account in cash. Use cash and only cash to shop for everything you need to prepare for this holiday season, and avoid using your credit cards at all costs.

By paying with cash, you'll have a much better grasp on how much you're actually spending on one thing knowing that you have X amount of other things to still purchase. Actually seeing the money physically being taken from your hand (rather than imagining it being added to your credit card account or deducted from your debit account) will help you limit your spending on anything that's unnecessary and force you to shop for better deals on things that you still need.


  1. Saving money for theholidays is a great asperation; however, it isn't always easy, so talk with a professional money manager to help you do it.

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