Holidays are a time to give, vacation, and catch up with family and friends; simply put, holidays are a season to spend. Even with a proper budget, it’s possible to find yourself losing track and spending more than you should. One of the best ways to avoid the stress that comes with wasteful expenses during the season is planning and sticking to a budget.
Hunt for Special Offers
Stores see increased traffic during the holidays. This allows brands to offer products at low prices and also introduce new merchandise at discounted prices. You can take advantage of these special offers and sales to get the most out of your budget; be on the lookout for events such as Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays during which expensive items go at much lower prices.
Even with special offers and sales, holiday-related products like certain gifts can be quite expensive during the season. If you are planning on such purchases, then plan and shop early. This will give you ample time to shop around for the best deals.
Be a Smart Customer
Having to move from one shop to the other in search of good deals can be frustrating and probably lead to going off budget. This can be avoided by employing the best shopping practices. Such include;
- Do your window shopping online. This will help you reduce the time spent on your feet.
- Do searches on online stores for coupons and discount codes. Some could call for a magazine subscription or opting for an email service; which you can always opt out after you have applied the promotional codes during checkout.
- Bargain from a point of advantage by price-matching.
- For electronics, where possible, buy last year’s models which are way cheaper but just as effective gifts.
Make your Own Gifts
If you are good at DIYs then you can free up much of your budget by fashioning gifts. Not only will this give the gifts a personal touch but you will have more money left to spend on other holiday expenses. Here are some ideas;
- A framed drawing from your kid will surely make your parents happy.
- A thank-you handmade certificate will do as a gift for the babysitter.
- Special home-cooked treats can also do as gifts.
Creativity doesn’t have to be handmade gifts only- what about giving out new shoes and clothes that you have never gotten to wear. You can also hand down children’s toys, bicycles, skates, etc.
Avoid Shopping Sprees
It’s very easy to find yourself in the holiday shopping frenzy especially if you are easily swayed. To avoid such shopping sprees that leave your budget stretched, prepare a shopping list in advance and stick to each item. Clearly mark the quantities needed and if unsure of the price then have a range- this will ensure you don’t stray no matter the incitement from shop attendants.
Stick to Cash
With a shopping list at hand, it’s hard to overspend when you pay in cash as opposed to putting purchases on a credit or debit card. This strategy will call for shopping at the store which means you will avoid the drawbacks of online shopping; such as getting wrong product sizes, delays in delivery, and so on.
Holidays are a time to be generous but this does not mean spending more than you should. You can enjoy the season’s merriment wisely by working within a budget. You can do so by sticking to a budget, making your own gifts, shopping early on or before the holidays start, opting for cash payments, and avoiding shopping sprees among other measures outlined above.