Even though the holidays come the same time each year, they can still be a shock for an unprepared budget. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to score some last-minute savings if you find yourself stretching your budget:
Take inventory of what you have on hand. You may not need to buy more bags or wrapping paper if you have some left over from years past. While you’re at it, look around for any items that could be perfect for a silly white elephant gift exchange.
Do your research. Before you start shopping, compare prices on the items you are planning to buy. Many stores offer a price match guarantee and may even match internet prices, so don’t be afraid to ask! You’ll save both time and money by knowing your brands and prices beforehand.
Make a shopping list and stick to it. It can be easy to fall into the “spirit of giving” during the holiday season, but it’s important to consider how this may affect your future financial situation. Putting extra items in your shopping cart can add up very quickly and may come as a surprise at the register.
Take advantage of the season. You can score some major savings at end-of-season sales. Keep an eye out for fall goodies ready to go on clearance. If you’re buying clothing for someone who may still be growing, be sure to plan ahead and purchase a slightly larger size.
Plan an affordable gift exchange. Talk with your family before they start shopping to discuss planning one of these fun gift-giving ideas that everyone can be a part of. Try drawing names for “Secret Santa,” and setting a price cap so everyone can be on an even playing field.
Do it yourself. Give something a little more personal with homemade presents. There are plenty of great DIY projects available all over the internet. Check out some of these priceless gifts that anyone can make to get started!
Holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. With a little planning and strategic shopping, you’ll be able to enjoy the experience worry-free!