Let’s face it, money seems to just go down the drain between the months of November and December.
From Christmas gifts to holiday parties to drinks out with friends, it is incredibly difficult to save money during the “Season of Giving.”
While we encourage everyone to give back in any way they can, it’s also important to not overspend or think you can afford things that you actually can’t.
It’s all fun and games until you realize on January 1 that you’ve drained your savings account and can’t afford groceries (speaking from personal experience).
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun this holiday season, it just means you need to be smart. Here are some easy ways to save a little bit of dough.
Instead of buying gifts for every single person in your friend group or your family, suggest a Secret Santa gift exchange instead.
Have everyone in the group draw a person’s name and just buy a gift for that one person.
You can even set a price limit, like $30 a gift (or whatever number you feel is appropriate).
This will not only alleviate financial stress, but it’ll also save you from having to think of gift ideas for lots of people.
It can be very easy to get credit card-happy during the month of December, so rather than constantly swiping the plastic, turn to cash instead.
In fact, set up a budget for yourself and take out that much cash each week. Do not allow yourself to spend anything more than the allotment.
If you’re really worried that you’re going to overspend, leave your credit cards at home.
Don’t be that person who’s scrambling on December 24 to buy gifts for five people.
Not only will you end up overspending, but you’ll be grabbing things just to grab them.
Instead, make a list, check it twice, and shop early. This will prevent you from panic shopping and it’ll more than likely save you a chunk of change.
While the holiday season may feel like a competition for who can give the better gift, it’s truly the thought that counts. It may be a cliche, but that’s only because it’s true!
Get creative this Christmas and think of inexpensive ways to show your friends and family you love them.
Maybe you make a meal for your mom and dad, give your brother an adorable photo of your family, or offer to watch your best friend’s child for an afternoon so she can have time to herself.
Whatever you decide to give know that people aren’t looking for the priciest item, they just want to feel loved.