729 billion dollars were spent worldwide around the holiday season in 2019. This total comes from both in-store and online purchases.
While the holiday season is all about spending time with friends and family, it’s always nice to give people the gifts they deserve. If you plan on gift-giving this year, it can be hard to control your holiday spending. Times have been tough the last two years, and not everyone is making the same amount of money they did before.
When making a holiday budget, there are a lot of things to consider to keep you in the black. These 8 tips to help you with your holiday spending will ensure you find everyone gifts they’ll love without breaking the bank.
1. Create a Holiday Budget
Creating a holiday budget can seem stressful, but it’s one of the most effective ways you can save money over the holidays! If you already have a budget for your monthly expenses, creating a Christmas budget can be even easier.
If money is tight and you haven’t been able to save throughout the year, that’s okay! Use the amount of extra money you have right now to decide how much you can spend over the holidays. Gifts don’t have to be expensive, and it’s important they come from the heart.
This budget can be based on however much money you have leftover at the end of the month. For example, if you have $40 a month leftover that you plan to save for Christmas, over an 11 month period, that gives you $440 to spend.
Another tip for creating a holiday budget is to set it lower than where you think it should be. For example, if you plan on spending $600, budget for $500. This gives you extra money in case you go over.
If you’re trying to figure out what money you have to put towards Christmas spending, think about how much money you make a month. Then, add together all of your mandatory bills and expenses. Subtract that from what you make each month.
Whatever is left over is how much you have as a holiday budget. You can also take into consideration any savings you have. Make sure your budget is based on physical money, not credit cards.
A great way to add more money to your budget is by giving up “self-care items.” Giving up haircuts, personal purchases, or eating out can add some extra money to your holiday budget.
2. Find Creative Ways to Give
Putting thought into your gifts is the best part of giving. You don’t always have to purchase expensive things to let people know you care about them.
Small businesses and independent artists are great resources for affordable, thoughtful gifts. You can find items specific to a person’s interests. Many small businesses and artists will also offer customization, like a handwritten note or including the recipient’s favorite colors.
Another way to get creative is making the gifts yourself! A thoughtful, handmade gift can make someone’s holiday season fantastic.
If you love to bake, create a yummy treat for everyone. Or if you love scrapbooking, creating a collection of memorable photos is the perfect present. There’s no limit on what kind of gift you can create.
Creative gifting also includes non-material items. Like taking your family somewhere as an experience. Or donating to a good cause on behalf of someone else.
3. Price Match Items and Take Advantage of Coupons
The great thing about the internet is that you can easily check different sites for the same item. If you can find the same item online for cheaper, show it to the in-person retailer and ask if they will price match it. Some stores have strict price matching policies, but many will match the online price.
The holiday season is full of sales. If you know what you’re going to buy, look for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on that item. Many online retailers will have new sales every week and offer free shipping on certain purchase totals.
There are also a lot of extensions you can download for your browser, like HONEY. Extensions like this will automatically find and apply coupons and discounts when shopping online.
Depending on the item, you might also be able to find it cheaper second-hand on sites like eBay or Poshmark. These items are still in good condition, and they will help bring costs down.
If you like shopping in person, looking for coupons is a great solution to maintaining your holiday budget. Coupons sent through the mail will usually take a few dollars off. Some stores will also offer free rewards programs that will send you coupons via email.
4. Don’t Waste Money on Wrappings
As much as we all love the beautiful wrapping paper on gifts, it’s something that can get expensive without us realizing it. Between bags, wrapping paper, bows, and tags, you might spend more on what holds the gift than the gift itself.
Saving wrapping paper and gift bags from year to year, and reusing them is a great way to save money. Another fun solution is making your wrapping paper!
You can color and draw on newspapers. Wrapping the decorated paper around the gifts can be a lot of fun.
5. Decide Who You’re Giving Gifts To
You don’t have to give gifts to everyone you’ve ever met. Even if you have a big family, you don’t have to get gifts for everyone.
For a big family, think about who you’ll be seeing this year. Extended family members who you won’t be seeing don’t need gifts.
If you are seeing a lot of families or you have a bigger personal family, create a list with all of their names on it. Next to each name, write one gift that you can get them that is thoughtful and personal. You can also give one gift to multiple people, like a board game for siblings to share.
When it comes to giving gifts to friends, the same rules apply. You don’t have to give a gift to everyone. And the ones you do give should be thoughtfully picked out.
6. Get Gifts Throughout the Year
It can seem like you’re spending a lot of money on gifts when you buy everything at the same time. Instead of buying everything all at once, spread out your purchases throughout the year.
If you know you want to get a gift for someone, keep in mind what they like throughout the year. Even if you end up spending more throughout the year on gifts, the payments are spread out, so it’s less of a financial hit.
7. Use Cash
A lot of people don’t like using cash. It can feel like a hassle to carry around. Cards can seem more convenient.
When it comes to holiday spending, you should use cash. If you take out the amount of cash you plan on spending on gifts, you have to stop when the cash is done. It helps you put more thought into the gifts as well because you only have so much money to spend.
The downfall of using credit cards is that you might not be able to stop. Swipe after swipe is really easy, but the totals add up over time.
When it comes to holiday spending, cash is the better option. You won’t be in debt when you’re done shopping, and it’s easier to stick to your budget.
8. Plan When You Go and Don’t Go More Than You plan
The great thing about shopping in person is that sales are usually week-long and announced before they happen. If you know exactly what you’re getting, you can plan when to go in-store and get it. The more gifts you get in one trip, the fewer trips you make.
The goal of fewer trips is to do less impulse buying. The more you’re at the store, the more money you’re going to spend.
Some stores have picked up options too, so you don’t have to do any shopping or waiting for things to get shipped to you. To get people to use their drive-up options, some stores will give you an additional discount for using their services.
If you do decide to have your gifts sent to you, order them as early as you can. The sooner you order, the less you have to worry about them arriving late.
Don’t Let Holiday Spending Stress You Out
Holiday spending doesn’t have to ruin the season. At the end of the day, you don’t have to get anyone anything. What matters is that you spend time with your friends and family.
Sometimes, you need a little extra money to get by during the holiday season. Regardless of what time of year it is, Credito has you covered.
Credito will help you get a quick loan to cover your expenses and free up some money to make the holidays special. No matter what your credit looks like, we can help you get a loan the same day you apply.
Contact us today and put your mind at ease this holiday season.