Saving money can be especially hard during the holiday season. With family gatherings, holding parties, and buying presents, it is easy to lose control of one's budget. Many consumers will end up spending more than the should this holiday season. Below are some guidelines to help you budget accordingly during these times of celebration.
Make your own gifts:
Most of the fun of the holidays is receiving gifts. While it may be tempting to purchase gifts this year, it is not recommended if you are currently in a debt management program. If you don't want to leave your friends and family empty handed, you can always make a gift. Making a gift for someone is an easy way of showing that you love them. Sample gift ideas include, knitting a sweater or scarf, making your own holiday cards, to making toys with cardboard (shields, swords, and spaceships come to mind).
Purchase gifts on a budget:
This option may be good for shoppers that know how to budget and save money. If you feel that making your own gifts isn't enough, it's time to start looking for sales. The best time to save money is during black Friday. Black Friday is the first black Friday after thanksgiving. On this day many retail stores offer huge discounts on popular items. Most of the incentive behind black Friday is to get shoppers to shop more than they should. To avoid spending more than you should, make a list of everything that you intend to buy. Do not make any reckless purchases and you should be fine.
If you absolutely hate the act of shopping, you can look for deals online on Cyber Monday. Like Black Friday, expect to find huge discounts on Cyber Monday. The best part of Cyber Monday is that you can do all of your shopping in the comfort of your own home.
Dinners on a budget:
If you are big on holidays, chances are you will be spending a lot of money on dinners and groceries. Save money on groceries by shopping at discount grocery stores. If possible, try to pass the hosting duties to someone else. The more you can split your expenses, the better off you will be.
Set a budget:
This is quite possibly the most important step you will take to save money during the holidays. Set a budget and stick to it. Create a list and figure out what your priorities will be during the holidays. Setting a budget will help keep you get out of debt fast by keeping you from creating further debt.