It may seem early to start thinking about the holidays, but the turbulence and uncertainty of the past few months have left many of us in different financial situations than before. If that’s the case, how can you keep your holiday spending in check? Start saving ahead of time! As joyous the holidays can be, they can also lead to a lot of stress and debt, but by starting to plan now, you will be in better financial shape when the time for festivities arrives.
Set a budget
The key to saving is setting a budget that works for you and sticking to it. This year has had its fair share of ups and downs, causing many Canadians to become more cautious about their spending habits and re-evaluate the ways they save. Creating a detailed monthly spending plan that outlines your needs vs. your wants can help you quickly identify saving opportunities.
Since this holiday season may look a lot different than previous years, getting a head start on your planning and saving can be a great way to avoid crippling debt. Reviewing your holiday shopping list early and outlining how much you want to spend on gifts, food, and decorations can help you create a specific plan designed for your holiday spending. There are also free money management apps that can help you focus on setting short-term financial goals. Budgeting apps can give a detailed breakdown of where your money is going each month, making it easier for you to meet your holiday savings goals and avoid unnecessary financial hardships.
With back to school season upon us, your extra savings may start to dwindle. Cutting down on unnecessary expenses, even temporarily, can help you save for the holidays without letting go of the necessities of life.
Here are some easy ways to save:
- Reduce electricity use
- Limit the amount of takeout orders
- Make your coffee at home
- Cut down on entertainment and online shopping
- Unsubscribe to unused memberships and apps
- Use price-matching apps and coupons for groceries
- Temporarily reduce credit card usage
It might be easy to get caught up in the glitz and glam of the holiday season but despite all those gifts and fancy parties, what truly matters is connecting with loved ones and making memories. Having a partial D.I.Y holiday season can help you enter the new year with minimal debt. The idea of making decorations and gifts yourself might seem a little daunting, but there are loads of ideas on social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube that can help you craft the perfect presents and decorations.
Here are some inexpensive gift and holiday planning ideas:
- Host a virtual party
- Turn your dinner into a potluck
- Make a charitable donation for others instead of buying gifts
- Redeem points or unused gift cards to purchase presents for others
- Start shopping early by taking advantage of seasonal sales
- Avoid self-gifting when purchasing for others