It’s a sign that an expensive time of year is approaching when my kids start talking about what they’re going to be for Halloween. Yep, families are about to embark on another spending season which includes Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and more.
Perhaps you’re behind preparing for these expenses. If not, well done. You’ve planned ahead and have been setting money aside. If you’re unprepared for the upcoming season, it might not be too late to avoid using your credit card to make up the difference or to fund it all.
5 Ways to Earn, Spend, and Save for the Holidays:
1. Make DIY gifts!
I always say it’s the thought versus the actual gift that counts. If you have a special talent creating crafts or have business services you can offer, you might very well be on your way to saving some money at the malls this year.
The best way to gift plan is to think about the person receiving the gift first and foremost. Does he need a new tie, or might he appreciate a homemade coupon for raking his yard and washing his car one Saturday afternoon? Think personal. Still stuck? Consider a $50 Christmas budget.
2. Find travel deals.
If you’re planning on traveling for the holidays you need to be in planning mode now. I found some great deals over the summer using Kayak.com. You can set up price alerts for airlines, hotels and car rentals. Also, consider inviting family in town to see you if you don’t have enough money to travel. While it’s more work having guests at home, it can make for a great experience around the holidays.
Still set on driving for the holidays? Then consider some tips to maximize your gas mileage.
3. Work extra!
Short on cash? Try working overtime or do some work on the side to make up the difference. Again, this is where special talents and skills come into play. Freelance work is a huge trend on the web right now. There are many ways you can provide services if you’re good at writing, web design, social media, etc. Obviously, these things don’t pay tons of money overnight, but hey, you have to get started somewhere.
4. Shop online.
It doesn’t hurt to start gift planning now. If you’re set on buying for someone, you may be able to find some good deals online now versus later. At the very least, start watching prices. Of course, we’ll have Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the Thanksgiving holiday that can lead to some savings too.
5. Make room in your budget!
Probably the most important tip is to make room in your budget for extra spending and/or savings. This means dropping some extra expenses now to make up the difference you need. It could mean you have to get radical about cutting out some fun stuff, but believe me, it’s better than waking up with a credit card hangover after the holidays.
The holiday season doesn’t have to create havoc on your finances. After all, you’re the Chief Financial Officer and it’s your call how the money will be spent. You’re empowered to make the decisions that will keep you and your loved ones out of debt. It’s time to get started!
What tips do you have for saving money around the holidays? Leave a comment below!