The holiday season is upon us. Its one of my favorite times of year. I love the snow, holiday decor, Christmas music and holiday cooking. But with all of those fun things, the winter holidays can also bring some challenges. While some may experience the winter blues, others may find it hard to keep spending in check. But, if you follow at least some of these tips in todays post I promise you won’t go overboard. So, here are nine easy ways to save money during the holiday season.
Remember the holidays don’t have to be stressful.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed by seasonal spending I am going to provide you with easy ways to save money during the holidays this year.
If you make a plan to spend less during the holiday season then you can avoid racking up a large credit card bill. After all, no one likes to get a January statement that is thousands more than they can pay back.
So, let’s avoid that this year and still have a fun packed holiday season. All of these tips below are super easy to implement. So, let’s get started!
#1 – Subscribe To Store Emails
Normally I would advise you not to subscribe to store emails, as they can trigger an easy online purchase. However, during the holiday season when you will be shopping for deals, subscribing to store emails is a good idea.
Think about it, you don’t want to miss out on a coupon or last minute deal. So getting those emails in your inbox is a good thing.
My advice for not overspending or splurging on a purchase is to make a list of gifts you are looking for. That way you won’t buy something that is not on your list.
#2 – Enjoy Free & Fun Winter Activities
The holiday season can make a lot of people wonder how far they can stretch a dollar. To enjoy the winter season you don’t need to spend a lot of money on entertainment.
Here are some ideas for free winter activities:
- Go on a car ride at night to look at houses decorated for the holidays. Throw on some Christmas music and bring along hot coco (made at home) to add to the fun.
- Take a walk outside in the snow. Bundle up and head to the woods for a nice walk or simply enjoy your neighborhood.
- Have a fun movie night with traditional holiday films. Pop some popcorn, kickback and enjoy! One of my all time favorites is Home Alone.
#3 – Purchase Only Four Gifts For Children
One of my coworkers had once explained that she gets her kids four presents for Christmas. She gives in the categories of something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.
I love this idea! I think it is a smart way of gift giving.
So just remember want, need, wear and read!
#4 – Do A Gift Swap
Instead of buying presents for everyone, which can get very expensive try an alternative gift giving approach this season.
I love the fun that gift giving games bring. At work I have participated in white elephant exchanges as well as the secret santa game.
This will save you so much money. When you only need to buy one gift instead of five, ten or more you will save considerably. The best part is that you don’t sacrifice any of the holiday fun.
After all spending time with those we care about is most important.
#5 – Lights Out
If you are a holiday decorator that enjoys stringing up tons of festive lights each winter season, consider those electric costs. The first Christmas my husband and I spent in our home, we did some very simple holiday decorating with lights on our tree.
We were shocked at how much our holiday lights had increased our electric bill.
Instead of decorating with costly electric lights consider decorating in ways that don’t require electricity. This is one of the most easy ways to save money during the holidays if you ask me.
So, instead of decorating a la Chevy Chase from the movie National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, opt for holiday decor that requires no electricity.
For example some super easy ways to save money during the holidays when it comes to decorating include:
- decorative throw pillows.
#6 – Don’t Buy It, Make It
Homemade gifts will always dominate a store bought gift in my opinion. What says I care about you and spent time creating this work of art more than making something by hand?
Now I know that everyone out there doesn’t know how to knit or paint a masterpiece but I do think everyone has a special skill of some kind.
While it may be ambitious to take on knitting your family new sweaters if you have never knitted before, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn!
Here are some ideas of gifts you can make:
- Knit a hat, mittens or a sweater
- Make a quilt
- Make a necklace from beaded jewelry
- Make a home cooked meal
- Make a purse
- Make a planted pot holder by learning how to macramé
#7 – Give The Gift of Time
It is so nice to receive a new winter jacket, that perfect pair of boots or even that warm cozy sweater. But you know what is also a great gift?
The gift of one’s time.
What if someone gave you a card you could redeem for babysitting so that you could have an evening date out? Or how about cleaning their kitchen? Helping paint a guest room?
You get the picture. You know your family and friends best, so you can probably conjure up the perfect offering tailored to their needs.
The point with this one is that it has no monetary expense. This is one of the most easy ways to save money during the holidays.
Your time is priceless and so valuable at the same time. Anyone offering up a night of babysitting to busy parents or some help around the house would most likely be very welcomed.
#8 – Bundle Up & Light A Fire
Heating costs can certainly be a heavy expense during the winter months. If you have a wood burning fireplace, this is a great way to save on home energy expenses.
In addition to utilizing a beautiful fireplace, consider layering up with a sweatshirt before turning the thermostat up another degree.
#9 – Stick To A Budget
Before you start any holiday spending, create a budget. Knowing what you can comfortably spend without going overboard is key to saving money during the holidays.
Make a plan for how you will gift this season and stick with it. Impulse buying or simply overspending and telling yourself you will deal with it come January will not be what your “January self” will want.
If your budget is so tight that you cannot afford to spend any extra than you normally would, I suggest looking for a part time temporary job.
A side hustle is a great way to bring in that extra cash that can cushion your spending budget this holiday season.