It’s November, which means the holiday season is just around the corner. And with stores putting up their holiday displays earlier and earlier, you’re probably already thinking about your holiday plans. For many, shopping for gifts is a big part of the season, but with rising costs due to inflation, spreading joy without breaking the bank can be a daunting task. Fortunately, it’s possible to give gifts while being financially prudent. If you adopt a few practices, you’ll be able to complete your holiday shopping without digging yourself into a hole. So, here are some tried and true tips that’ll help you save on gift giving this year.
Stick to a budget.
Budgets are effective for year-round money management, and they’re also great for the holiday season. Set aside a specified amount for your holiday shopping and consider all of your costs. Make a list of everyone you plan to gift and allot a sensible amount of money for each gift. Beyond gift-giving, also consider expenses for holiday parties and travel.
Pay in cash.
Swiping and tapping are pretty painless ways of spending money, but parting ways with cash hurts. That’s why paying with cash is an effective way to stick to your budget. Pull out the money allotted in your budget in cash and use that to complete your holiday shopping. Once the money is gone, your shopping is over. If you plan to do some online shopping, load cash onto a prepaid card and don’t exceed that limit.
Get a head start on your holiday shopping by shopping earlier in the year. Don’t wait until the last minute. Starting early will allow you to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. And it’s never too early to start. Shopping for next year shortly after the holiday season ends allows you to score great deals as well.
You don’t have to spend a fortune for a gift to be appreciated. Get creative and give heartwarming gifts that are inexpensive, yet special. This could be a framed photo of a cherished memory, a handmade piece of jewelry or ornament, or a monogrammed hand towel. It’s the thought that counts, after all.
Cut back on personal spending.
You can give yourself more money to do your holiday shopping if you cut back on unnecessary expenses. Pack a lunch to take to work instead of dining out every day. Stop your daily latte habit for a while. Take a look at your bank statements and see where you can save by identifying inessentials that you can cut out.
Use these tips to help you shop smart this holiday season, so you can give to your loved ones while staying afloat financially. Happy holidays!