The holiday season is exciting for the most part, but when you’re on a budget, seeing all of those price tags add up and receipts pile onto the kitchen table can turn anyone into a Scrooge.
No amount of holiday cheer is worth going into debt.
Instead of racking up credit card bills or creating a little coupon book for hugs and kisses, follow the advice of these 5 financial experts. They’ll teach you how to embrace the Christmas spirit without cashing in your 401k or selling your first newborn.
Melissa Leong offered this gem at the Financial Post. Yes, this is the season of giving, but try to be a little exclusive about which people you give presents to this year. Create a list and look over it before you head out to start shopping. Does your dog really need a Christmas present? How about your boss? Does he really need another necktie just because you think it’ll put you in his good graces? Be picky about who you give gifts too. It’s ok, we promise not to tell.
Jenny Keefe, Lead Writer of Money Saving Expert, wrote in an article that the best way to gift luxurious items, specifically perfumes, without the hefty price tags is to find 3rd party sellers online. There are tons of sellers who offer the same designer brands at a fraction of what you’d pay at a shiny department store. It’s not like anyone has to know where the perfume came from (as long as it’s not stolen, of course, because that’s not cool).
Mentor Certified Financial Planner Scott Marn believes that the best way to make sure that you stay within budget when buying presents is to pay with cash. Paying with credit cards can buffer the blow of the actual cost, but when you’re paying with cash, you’ll feel that expense. Spending $1,000.00 on a credit card can be done without a blink. Pulling out $1,000.00 to hand over right away? Yeah, you’ll be conscious of how much you’re spending.
In an article for the Huffington Post, Ginger Dean of GirlsJustWantToHaveFunds.com offered a great suggestion for people with large families or social circles. A Secret Santa exchange is perfect because you’ll only be buying a single present instead of dozens. Even a game of White Elephant could be a good alternative because it’s fun and won’t break the break.
Cassandra Jardine wrote this genius tip for The Telegraph, and we couldn’t agree more. Your presents don’t have to be wrapped in 14k gold paper to be considered a good gift. Using tissue paper, newspaper, or even lunch bags can be cost-effective and easy to use in place of expensive wrapping paper. Grab a little tinsel or ribbon and decorate the package, and you’ve got a present that’s going to stand out from the rest. Sometimes a do-it-yourself job is the best way to go.
What are your favorite tips for saving money during the holidays?
Do you fid gift giving enjoyable or stressful?
Which of the 5 financial expert tips do you think you’ll use this year?