5 Tips to Lower Bills Before the Holidays

The holiday season is already looming. For many of us, that means it’s time to go into a financial panic. Although we would love nothing more than to shower our loved ones with gifts, we often find ourselves short on cash. However, there are a few easy things we can all practice throughout the year to save a little money before the holidays.

Less Splurging

As much as you may love splurging on expensive lattes or the occasional pair of shoes, keep in mind that you’re spending money you could be using around the holidays. Impulse buys are especially draining on your savings, so try exercising a bit more self-control when browsing Etsy or strolling through the mall. A bit of cash saved here and there will make gift-buying so much easier. If you just have to buy something while you’re out and about, use the urge as an opportunity for early holiday shopping.

Cutting back on most of those little extras as the holiday season approaches will add up faster than you realize, providing you with a comfortable pillow of gift-buying money.

Trimming Bills

Image via Flickr by brendan wood

Image via Flickr by brendan.wood

Could you be getting better deals with your cable, Internet, or cell phone providers? There’s a good chance you’re spending more than you have to on one or more of these services, so it doesn’t hurt to review your options from time to time, especially around the holidays. New mobile devices from carriers like T-Mobile offer deals that have huge savings potential. If it’s time to renew your contract, consider checking out other providers. You could get a brand new phone and a cheaper plan. Happy Holidays to you!

What about your energy expenses? Electric bills can do a number on any bank account, but you can cut costs there as well. Invest in power timers and power strips that turn off when not in use if you tend to forget to unplug devices. That’s a gift that keeps on giving year-round.

Wise Sale Shopping

The holiday season is full of sales events that usually seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, some actually are. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for misleading “deals” disguised as awesome sales. When you come across an item that promises outrageous discounts, don’t be afraid to whip out your smartphone to do a quick price comparison.

And, really, no matter how great a sale is, you’re still spending money. Even if the deals really are out of this world, try to avoid spending beyond your budget. It may seem like a crime to pass up a half-priced product, but you’ll appreciate the extra cash later.

Practical Gifting

Depending on how many people you plan on buying gifts for, you probably can’t afford to shower them all with expensive, showy presents. Your father might go crazy for those gold-plated golf clubs, but does he need them? Does it send him any other message besides, “I’ll be living off of cold soup for the next year after paying for this gift?”

Instead of going overboard on lavish presents, focus on putting real, heartfelt thought into your purchases. More often than not, that will lead to you to a gift that is not only less costly, but also rich with meaning.

Car Cutbacks

 

Image via Flickr by City Clock Magazine

Image via Flickr by City Clock Magazine

Cars rack up expenses faster than just about anything else in our lives. Gas prices, repair costs, and monthly payments add up into the thousands every year. By cutting back on driving, you can save a bit of money throughout the year to use around the holidays. Take public transportation to work once or twice a week, or carpool with co-workers. When you do drive, visit a gas station once a week to air up your tires to improve your gas mileage.

While your savings may not number in the thousands by using these tips, any penny saved goes a long way in giving your loved ones a holiday season they won’t soon forget.

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About Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Great tips! We haven’t even set a holiday budget yet. We are slacking!

  2. Some very good tips here. The holidays can be a very trying time so it’s nice to figure out ways to save some money before they come

  3. Great tips. In the past my friends and I had all bought gifts for each other. Now that we’re all poor uni grads, we pick an evening that works for everyone and we go out to dinner together. It’s cheaper than buying gifts for each person and we get to spend time together catching up.

  4. Great tips. The husband just got a rare surplus in income, and decided to put it towards holiday stuff. I would have put it towards our car fund, but we always have good holidays because he’s far less stingy than I am. The car fund is doing okay. And you and he are right… The holidays are coming!

  5. Great tips!! Thank you! I’ve been consciously driving less to save money. So far, it’s worked out well. We normally fill the tank once a week and I’ve noticed now we can go 1 1/2 to 2 weeks if I really push it. I like the idea of less splurging, too…though if I’m being honest I tend to splurge MORE over the holidays 🙁 🙁 🙁

    • I do tend to splurge more over the holidays, but perhaps we can tone it back between now and then to help offset some of that?

  6. I’m really trying to cut back on grocery bills and have been trying to sell stuff from around the house. I actually took my Colorado Avalanche jersey to the consignment store today. It’s cool, but I can’t remember the last time I wore it and it doesn’t look like going to a hockey game is anywhere in our future.

    • I have been decluttering my house; getting rid of anything that’s not 1. useful 2. beautiful or 3. enjoyable. In the process I’ve been selling some of the things I get rid of.

  7. I always make my shopping list for the holiday’s far in the future, and try to pay attention to sales in November/December/January to see if I can get everything that’s on my list. Electronics and some other items tend to be discounted a lot more than usual during the holidays.

    • That is so true! I try to keep gift ideas in mind year round so I can pick things up on sale and spread out my holiday spending.

  8. A great way to lower bills is to opt for a no-contract wireless provider like GIV Mobile. GIV Mobile is a no-contract service that offers four “Unlimited Everything” plans starting at $29/month for talk, text and 2G data and $35/month for talk, text and 4G LTE data along with a variety of cell phones to choose from. GIV Mobile also donates 8% of every customer’s monthly bill to a charity of his or her choice including the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Feeding America, and the United States Fund for UNICEF. GIV Mobiile can really help save money before the holidays while still spreading the holiday spirit of giving back!

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