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.
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.
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.
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.
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.