Holiday Money-Saving Tips
face it, the holidays can be expensive under normal circumstances. According to
the National Retail Federation, despite the pandemic’s economic toll, individuals
are trending above the five-year average for gift expenses and plan to spend an
average of $997.79 this year. Here is a look at how those expenditures are
Gifts for family,
friends, and coworkers: $650
purchases such as food, greeting cards, and decorations: $230
Other non-gift holiday
purchases for themselves and their families: $11
National Retail Federation, 2020)
current era of pandemic-related furloughs and lay-offs, many families are
struggling to find ways to keep up the spirit of the holidays and provide for
their families. Traditional celebrations may not be feasible this year, but you
can still keep things merry and bright by employing alternative options. Listed
below are some money-saving tips for this holiday season.
Define what “Gift-Giving” Means to You
finding the perfect gift for someone? Do you want to impress? Or do you just
feel obligated to buy? These factors can really shape how you view the season.
Instead of focusing on what to buy,
focus on why you’re buying those
particular presents in the first place and how you are going to pay for them.
Create a Holiday Budget
the holiday season by creating an overall budget and deciding on a specific
amount to spend on each person. Stick to it and don’t spend outside of your
comfort zone. Avoid splurging on something that is not on your list just
because it’s a good deal.
Choose Time over Money
some people, spending time together is better than any gift you can purchase.
Whether you can be with someone in person or spend time with them virtually,
value the memories of laughter and conversation over materials and goods.
Make it a “Group Project”
are looking to purchase a big gift, ask others to go in on it with you. You can
still buy bigger, more expensive gifts for parents or siblings by asking other
family members to all chip in. If you’re wanting to give a gift of appreciation
to your child’s teacher, email other parents in the class to see if anyone
wants to donate money or small items for a gift basket from the group.
Show Your Creativity
option is to make presents instead of buying them this year. Create something
personal, memorable, and one-of-a-kind that the recipient will treasure. Let
the kids make presents for their grandparents and other family members, or if
you aren’t a super-crafty family, bake cookies or other simple treats. Keep in
mind homemade gifts of any kind offer a sentimental touch that you won’t find in
Gifts of Service
gift of cooking dinner for your friends, serving breakfast in bed to your
spouse, or a free car wash for your brother. The possibilities here are endless
and you can get really creative with what services you are willing and able to
provide to others.
re-gifting has a bad reputation, some common sense can make it work. Keep in
mind the relationship between the person who originally gave you the gift and
the person to whom you intend to re-gift the item. For example, don’t give your
sister that still-boxed extra crockpot you got from your dad if they are close
and it could cause a rift. Instead, maybe give it to a friend who doesn’t have
a relationship with your dad at all. Seriously, it is okay to re-gift an item
if you know someone else will put it to good use. After all, how many crockpots
do you need? It is better to give it to someone who doesn’t have one and has
been wanting or needing one. It will save you some money and keeps a gift from
going unused and collecting dust. That makes for a win-win situation all
Be a Bargain Shopper
are purchasing a gift in-store, always ask the sales associates if there are
additional discounts or specials. Before purchasing anything in-store or
online, do your research and look for coupons, promo codes, texts, emails, and
other deals before you buy. Most stores will price match and/or offer discounts
for active-duty military, senior citizens, and college students.
online shoppers here are some additional tips:
your online cart temporarily. Sometimes you’ll get a discount code or a
free shipping offer to entice you to make that purchase
a Google Alert to get
notified when your item goes on sale
- Use Pricegrabber to
compare prices across different websites
- Join store
loyalty programs before you make an online purchase
- Check RetailMeNot for
cashback offers and instant coupon codes
- If you
can, use the curbside pick-up option to pick up your merchandise at the
store rather than pay for shipping
- Set up
extra email addresses to collect extra coupons
apps like the KCL app that tell
you about the best online coupons and sales
learn to say no to random gift exchanges. Be kind, but decline the offer to
participate. Although fun to do, gift exchanges can easily cost more than
expected and blow your carefully curated budget.
you choose to spend your money, remember the spirit of the season is more
important and it really is the thought that counts.