Sleigh bells aren’t the only things ringing this holiday season. That familiar cash register ring is almost as Christmassy as the bells on Santa’s sleigh. Anyone who celebrates the season is familiar with the financial strain that can feel inevitable. If you approach the holidays with a sense of financial dread, read on to learn how you can celebrate this year without feeling stretched too thin.
First things first, think ahead and start planning for next year. Open a savings account specifically for holiday spending. Next year when December hits, you’ll be able to spend without feeling the financial hit.
Trim the Holiday Activities
To save money immediately, cut back on holiday activities. Tickets to annual events can get pricey, not to mention the added expenses during an outing, such as parking, eating out, and souvenirs.
Skipping the pricey activities doesn’t mean you’ll spend the winter cooped up like Ebenezer Scrooge. There are loads of free holiday activities here in Cape May. Check out this list to start planning!
Don’t settle for the first price you see on big ticket items. Use apps such as ShopSavvy or Quick Scan to compare prices at different retailers. While you’re at it, research your favorite retailers’ websites for price matching policies.
There are options for gift giving that don’t come directly from retail stores. Keep an eye on resale sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for items that are unused and unopened. Sellers will list items that are exactly what you’d buy at retail locations, but for 75% off or more! Look for acronyms such as NWT (new with tags) or NIB (new in box) on listings to find brand new gems for everyone on your list.
Forgo elaborate light displays this year. Trimming your home with lights is an expensive investment. Not only is the setup expensive, but a beaming display wreaks havoc on your utility bill during the peak heating season.
Consider taking a break from the National Lampoon display for this year. Of course, if you’re intent on purchasing lights, opt for LED bulbs. You can choose to take the year off or buy energy efficient options. Either way, you’ll experience the bonus of lower costs to you and less impact on the environment.
Of course, all the money savings in the world won’t matter if you don’t have a budget. At the beginning of the season make a list of gifts to give, activities to spend on, and general holiday expenses. Estimate your spending and stick with that budget throughout the season. You’d be amazed to see how often you spend a little extra here and there without the guidance of a budget. Before long, those small extras add up to big expenses.
Put a few of these ideas to use this season and see just how much you can save. Financial stress is an unnecessary burden this time of year and can be avoided with just a few tweaks.
Have a merry, bright, and prosperous holiday season from us at the Ferzoco Group!