From gift giving to purchasing Christmas food, the holiday season mixes festive cheer with financial stress. Savvy spenders, however, can focus on good cheer without stressing financially. Seven tips will ease the burden of the holidays so you can focus on what matters most.
Pay in Cash
Who carries around cash anymore? It seems most people prefer plastic to greenbacks. Mix it up this holiday. Withdrawal a predetermined amount for holiday spending. Then, buy everything with cash. It’s easy to budget once you understand the amount you started with. The money will leave before your eyes. Don’t withdrawal again when the cash runs out.
Track Spending Habits
This section is talking to the check writing and card swiping customers. Paper and plastic spenders cannot see the money leaving their wallet. Therefore, it’s easy to overspend. Keep receipts of money spent at each store. Total all receipts to detail the money spent. Maintain a budget to prevent overspending. Card users must have the finances available to pay off upcoming credit card bills in full. Use the credit cards with the lowest interest rate.
Give the gift using technology this season. Gift cards, gift certificates, and greeting cards in electronic form are less expensive than an online purchase. E-cards erase the stress of crowded stores and shipping charges as well. Personalization such as music selection adds an unforgettable touch.
Aim for Free Shipping and/or No Sales Tax
Shoppers understand that first-class or priority delivery is faster than standard delivery, yet it costs more. Unfortunately, standard delivery can cost up to 10 additional dollars. While shipping companies deserve the shipping charges, buyers can avoid this charge by shopping at websites that offer free delivery. Free delivery comes in ‘free delivery storewide’ or ‘free delivery over $$.’
Taxes eat up spending costs too, and it is avoidable. Stores won’t mention any sales tax on the homepage, but you can search for stores that don’t charge sales tax through independent research. Gravitate toward those no-tax stores.
The penny pinchers know this trick already, but it bears repeating. The dollar stores and thrift stores are the best stores to save money during the holidays. Dollar stores are great for Christmas decorations like ornaments, tree toppers, and garland. Additionally, buy Christmas wrapping supplies such as tape, gift wrap, and gift boxes at dollar stores without buyer’s remorse. Moreover, seasonal dinnerware, trinkets, and stocking stuffers are aplenty.
Ignored places to purchase decorations, wrapping supplies, toys, dinnerware, and stocking stuffers are at the local thrift store. These secondhand treasure troves contain unique items at affordable prices.
Coupon Codes, Gift Cards, & Gift Certificates
Sales and discounts aren’t the only ways to save. Use unused gift cards and gift certificates to buy gifts, accessories, and food at the store or online. Coupon codes work specifically for online shoppers, and this is similar to store coupons. Just search for “(store name) coupon codes” online and find a coupon beneficial to your shopping cart. Then, copy the code into the ‘coupon code’ space before or during checkout.
Consider unused gifts from seasons past another person’s treasure. Give unused and unwanted gifts to someone else. The re-gifting process is a controversial solution to gift giving dilemmas, yet it is very successful. The struggle then becomes ‘who to re-gift to.’ Never re-gift back to the sender, and never re-gift to the sender’s friends, family, and associates.
This Christmas season, splurge with financial care. One and a half months of celebration isn’t worth a year’s worth of debt. These tips ensure you’re alert on spending habits while erasing debt from your naughty list.