While families benefit from saving money all year, the holidays are a time when saving money can mean much more to a family as spending less money means less stress on parents. And all parents know, the less stressed we are, the more fun our family is going to have. Here are useful holiday tips that will help you stress-less and enjoy more:
Be prepared for the holiday season. Set aside some time and use last year’s amount spent to organize a current budget for all that you would like to do during the holidays. Include gift giving and your budgeted amount for each person you wish to give to. Remember to include the little gifts you give to teachers and for Pollyanna gift giving. Once you have your budget, You can see the areas where you may be able to save some money.
Talk with your extended family. Communication can go a long way when you need to tighten your belts. If you are finding yourself in a crunch this holiday season, talk to your family about ways that you can save some money like bringing down the limit amount you spend on gifts – or cutting store bought gifts out altogether.
Make a list and use it. Know what you are going to buy before going out to purchase it and do not fall for impulse buys. Search sale fliers for best prices on holiday gifts and food.
Cut all of your holiday budgeted amounts by 10% across the board. It is easier to save money when you are saving smaller amounts in different areas. Think of it in this respect: How you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Take advantage of every sale and free shipping offer you can. Follow one rule when doing this: use the savings to go back into your pocket and not to purchase more. Be strict with that rule and you can save a bundle.
Don’t spend money on things you can get for free or cheap. Gift tags and holiday party invitations come to mind when I think about this tip, as they can be found online for free or a buck at your local dollar store. These are the types of things that add up, yet you don’t realize they are killing your budget until they do.
Save on shipping gifts. Hand delivery gifts to family that lives far away when you see them during the year to save on shipping. Or purchase gift cards that can be mailed cheaply.
When shopping for your kids, purchase gifts that more than one of them will use. We are a gaming family, therefore when we purchase a game for one child, they all benefit. The same is true for sleds, board games, DVDs and CDs or itunes cards.
Test out any items on your kids before purchasing them as a gift. I’ve gotten caught up in my child asking for an item because everyone else has one and a week after Christmas is over, they are no longer interested. Pay attention to your child’s true interests before you lay down the money to buy these kinds of gifts. Borrow the item from someone and see if it holds your child’s interest. – you can test out books, DVDs and magazine at the library.