Upcoming Expense Alert | Learn How to Earn, Spend, and Save for Expensive Holidays!

Holiday Alert

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!

Ready to Quit Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck?

Just click to join 163,000+ others and take our FREE email course to better manage your money, pay off debt, and save!

  1. Joolie

    When shopping online be sure to earn back as much as you can too, by going through portals like MrRebates.com or eBates.com. I find MrRebates pays out a larger percentage in most cases. I have been known to pay as little as $6 for a $50 value simply by combining MrRebates.com with promo codes or special offers through Google Offers or PerkSpot, etc. And no, I don’t work for them or profit in any way from recommending them here 😛

  2. Ben @ Bedrock PF

    If I did a better job of planning, then I wouldn’t have to work 6 (8 hour) overtime shifts in a two week period! Heck, I cannot blame it entirely on my lack of planning, but it certainly bears some of the weight. Alas, it has become sort of a tradition. I work all of this overtime for the paycheck that arrives right before Thanksgiving, and then my wife and I go out shopping all day on Black Friday. We spend upwards of $1000 on that day, but we get it all done….and usually save quite a bit. For some, that’s an outrageous amount and for others it is not nearly enough. We decided long ago that we spend $150 on each kid and $150 on each other. We then buy little gifts for each mother and father, then that’s it. In the “lean” years, we cut it back to around $50 each, and got along just fine.

    • Jason

      Ben, I do have to say good job on earning the cash for holiday shopping vs using a credit card! As you said, perhaps some planning would help cut back on the need to work extra, but you’re also willing to work hard to avoid debt.

  3. JP

    Do it yourself gifts is a great idea for the Holidays. Particularly now as we have a few weeks to prepare.

    Some ideas:
    – write a letter
    – create a comic (feature funny times you have had with the person)
    – create a book of pictures of loved ones and family members
    – create something together (take the time to be with them)

    Also, check out Crystal’s 31 Ways To Earn Extra Cash over at Money Saving Mom. She has some neat ideas.

  4. I always make a budget for holiday spending and stick to it. I keep a record of what I’ve spent for each person in the previous year and make sure that I don’t go over that amount. I take it as a challenge to see if I can beat the previous year’s amount. Often I can by watching for sales online. I also record what the original price of an item was and the price I paid for it.

    I also make notes at the end of every holiday season about what we need for next year and what we don’t need. It’s too easy to forget from one year to the next. It really helps!

  5. Jon @ MoneySmartGuides

    I do as much research as I can online. I check ebates and the “shopping mall” that gives cash back on the credit card I use. Whichever one offers more cash back, I use that site. I combine that with googling for coupon codes as well.