The holiday season is a wonderful time of year for most people. Traditionally, it's a time for celebrating with loved ones, shopping, gift-giving, traveling, and attending holiday parties. This year has been anything but usual, and the holiday season is shaping up like no other. Yes, the holidays will be different, but it doesn't have to put a damper on your holiday spirit or wallet. With some adjustments and a plan, you can still have a wonderful holiday season.
We asked our team to share how they will be spending, saving, and finding the best deals during this holiday season. Here are a few tips they shared:
Open a Christmas Club Account.
"Set up a Christmas Club account to help save throughout the year. Like a budget, set up a Christmas gift-giving budget with all the people you plan to buy for and how much you will budget for each. This will help determine how much money you should save in your Christmas Club." (Wes S.)
Shop on Prime Day, Cyber Monday.
"I shop for deals on Prime Day or Cyber Monday to save money. This year, I plan to reduce my holiday spending compared to last year. I am also planning to give more sentimental gifts such as a photo book or movie of memories we've created together." (Kristin S.)
Establish Gift Giving Guidelines.
"With buying gifts for the kids, we try sticking to ‘something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read’ and let them know Santa really likes to go by that. Of course, we buy extra gifts, but for the bigger stuff, we try to stick to that rule." (Tosha N.)
Take Advantage of Semi-Annual Sales.
"For my Christmas giving, I like to start shopping around mid-year during semi-annual sales. It allows for more wiggle room if the budget is already a little tight, and I don't want to feel the financial effects of the holiday season." (Morgan W.)
Shop Early. Shop Local.
"With a large family, my husband and I start planning our holiday shopping in July. Because of the current environment, I plan to shop local this year to support small businesses. I also take advantage of online clearance sales when it's a good deal." (Kenya M)
Save Your Change.
"I use cash for most of my purchases, and each time I receive a $5 bill for change, I put it in a savings envelope. I must admit it was hard when I started this method. I recall the first time I used a $20 bill, and I received three $5 bills back in change. I wanted to spend it, but they all went into my savings envelope. I was amazed at how fast my money grew using the envelope method." (Jill A)
Create Group Gifts.
"I have a large family, and I usually buy gifts for each family member. My gift-giving will be different this year. I plan to make “Family Fun Night” gift baskets (movie night, game board night, etc.) or homemade baked goods (cake, cookies, or candy) for each family." (Tara W.)
"I shop all year long to find deals! I keep a list of who to buy for, and as I find a good deal, I check them off the list. I also do most of my holiday shopping after Christmas to take advantage of all the clearance sales." (Jamie M)
Save More. Spend Less.
"I'm learning this year that the Christmas spirit doesn't rely mainly on giving gifts. I have a few extra financial goals this year, and while I've spent more in the past, I'm forcing myself to save more than spend this season. It's hard, but it makes room for the more important things. The things that matter and last a lifetime." (Morgan W.)
Although we're in the middle of a pandemic and these times are challenging, hopefully, the tips our team shared will help you make the most of your holiday spending.