Shop with Cash for the Holiday Season
Save money for the holiday season by shopping with cash, sounds simple but the number or people who shop with credit cards, feeling that their budget is unlimited is huge. You don’t have to fail at holiday shopping just because your neighbor is, or you THINK everyone else is. Your misery afterwards will only be shared by you, not others. So, when you keep that in mind that will make it easier to shop with cash and save money for the holiday season. Also considered cash, is a standalone debit card, where you can go to your bank and ask to purchase a debit card with the maximum amount you want to spend. You can also purchase debit cards everywhere these days, grocery stores, drug stores and other places.
Save Money When You Set Aside a Limited Amount for the Holiday Season
If you have saved in a holiday savings account, take the money now to shop for the holidays. If you have not, start a savings account now, you still have time to save for the holidays. No matter what you plan to buy, there absolutely must be a limit to avoid going into debt. Set your limit and stick with it no matter what. You can find out how much everything cost and do comparison shopping by going online, online price comparisons are quick and easy.
Make Sure You Shop with a List
Take your list with you when you shop. Save time, money and gas by mapping out your route before you shop. Some folks will go from store to store wasting precious gas money, sometimes as far away as 20 or 30 miles. Know before you go holiday shopping by 1. Knowing exactly what you plan to buy, 2. Know where you plan to buy it, 3. choose several stores in the same location so you don’t waste money on gas.
Don’t Shop During the Holiday Season When You are Tired or Hungry
If you holiday shop when you are tired or hungry, you will tend to over-shop, so you leave the store quickly. Your thought process becomes “muddled” and you buy stuff you would not have bought if you were relaxed and on a full stomach. And, when you’re tired you will tend to make mistakes due to a cloud in your thought patterns. When you are hungry, your stomach starts to growl, you will think more about getting something to eat than what you are picking up off the shelves. So, sounds like common sense, but a lot of people just don’t take the time to note whether they are hungry or tired before they go holiday shopping, so a warning to you, “take note” of your condition before you leave the house.
Your Kids May Not be the Best People to Help You Buy Holiday Gifts
Don’t ask your kids for advice on buying gifts for others. Most kids just don’t have the ability to understand the limits you should put on every single gift. So, you be the “captain of the gift buying ship” and decide what you will buy, and only you decide. Of course, you can ask your kids to give you choices for themselves and let them know you will choose a few holiday gifts from their choices. Don’t let your kids think “money grows on trees” during the holidays, let them know there is a limit.
Can You Really Afford That Holiday Party?
Holiday parties are all over the place during the holidays. But, before you go all out for your holiday party, ask yourself if it makes sense to spend the money. To make it an affordable holiday party, you can do a “potluck”, where everyone brings a dish. And to make it less work for you, ask a few friends or family to be on the cleanup crew. Ask everyone to bring a unisex gift under $10, and pick names from a hat to give a gift at the party. Here I have created at least 3 ways to save money during the holiday season.
Why Holiday Gifts Don’t Always Cost Money
You can teach your kids or grandkids that holiday gifts don’t always cost money. For example, you know that pantry you wanted to clean and organize – let you child know that would be a great Christmas gift to Mom. Your elderly neighbor’s yard may need to be cut and trimmed – let your child know that would be a great gift to the neighbor who watches your house when you are on vacation or who brings in your newspaper when you come home late. Maybe your attic is cluttered and disorganized, let your children know that would be a great gift to Mom and Dad to have them declutter and organize the attic. These are a few suggestions for “holiday gifts” that don’t always cost money, you can think of more.
Your Holiday Budget Does Not Have to be Complicated
Plan for your holiday budget. When it comes to your holiday budget, please don’t throw “caution to the wind”. In other words, take your holiday shopping serious and you can save serious money during the holidays. It is easy to get distracted with all the beautiful holiday decorations and Christmas music in the stores. Even if you shop online, which many of us love to do, most of us want that holiday experience in the stores also. But, be careful, that experience is alluring. But you can keep your head on straight as long as you realize that the atmosphere is designed to make you spend all the money in your pocket and on your credit card.
Save Money with Re-arrangement For Your Holiday Budget
You can re-arrange your monthly spending to include enough gift money for the holidays. Cut back on something you don’t need to buy or do for the next few months, that you have done on a regular basis. That may be going out to eat once a week or saving money on gas by skipping your weekly card game. You can think of at least a few things you regularly do that you can cut back on for the holidays, then use that money for holiday spending.
Write Down Your Holiday Budget and Your Holiday Gifts
The more you write, the more you save. Writing down your savings just keeps you, your mind and heart, informed about the money you are spending moment by moment. If you know how much you must spend, in most cases you won’t go over your spending amount. It also lets you know when it is time to leave the store or online shopping site. The more you write, the more you will become aware of your limits. All you need is a small diary, some cell phones come with a writing pad, you can use that. Also, you can use a word document if your cell phone permits.
Write a Diary of Holiday Gifts and Why Everyone Deserves it
Know who deserves which holiday gift. Make a note of why they deserve the gift. For example, 1. If your son brought his grades up and learned to keep his room clean, 2. If your daughter does household chores without being told. 3. The times your neighbor took you grocery shopping and to run errands when your car was in the shop. 4. When your sister helped you get your car fixed after you lost your job. These are just a few examples, but you get the idea. The holiday gifts should be in line with the deeds. The holidays are a great opportunity to let folks know that you appreciate them and what they have done for you during the holidays. It is also a great opportunity to teach your kids or grandkids why we give gifts with a purpose.
Set a Holiday Budget Spending Limit According to Importance
You know what your holiday spending limit is. Unfortunately, too many shoppers go over that limit before they realize they put themselves in holiday debt. Keep the credit card in your pocket. You can use cash or get a debit card with a limit, at your bank. So, if your Holiday spending limit is $500 dollars, you would get a debit card for $500 and keep track of all your receipts and balances left.
Remember That You Don’t Ever Have to Spoil Your Kids During the Holidays
I haven’t figured this out yet, but some parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, feel it is important to spoil their kids for the holidays. My suspicion is they feel their kids won’t feel loved if they don’t get all the material things they want. Not true. Love is not gifting it is positive time and attention. So, when you feel you have to buy that over-priced gift or another gift they may not use after a short time, try sitting and have a long thought-out conversation with your child about their life, and what they do when they leave the house, their friends, their favorite interest. Kids feel important when adults, especially their parents show them they care enough to have a deep and long conservations with them about their interest. So, the gifts should not only be in line with what they deserve, but also, what you can afford.
Who is The Most Important Person on Your Holiday List?
Make a list of your holiday persons. I know this sounds like favoritism and it is, so start at the top and move to the bottom with a list of the most important to the least important people to give a holiday gift to. The most important may be a spouse, parent or child who has been special to you during the year, the least important may be the holiday secret gift at work. No matter who gets a gift, make sure you keep it in perspective and give accordingly.
I have listed 14 ways to save money for the holiday season, now that I have you started, you can think of more.