These Holiday Prep Tips Can Help Save You Money
What an eventful year it’s been, and with the holiday season approaching, 2020 will soon come to a close.
This year, it’s important that you make sure you get the perfect gifts for your loved ones and host the perfect (socially-distanced) family gatherings in order to show them how much they truly mean to you.
Unfortunately, the holidays don’t come without their own downsides.
A recent poll shows that the average American will spend over nine hundred dollars on Christmas gifts. With this year’s COVID-19 pandemic bringing in so many unexpected twists and turns, budgets will likely be tighter this year than in previous ones.
It’s crucial to make sure you’re preparing ahead of time and maximizing your savings. Follow along for some helpful ways you can prepare yourself for the holidays personally and financially.
Buy All Your Gifts Early
As you likely know, I am a big advocate of early planning for the holidays.
Not only is it just easier to get your holiday to-do list checked off, but it could save you some big bucks, too.
The closer you get to the holidays, the higher so-called ‘sales’ prices will be marked.
Don’t fall into the trap of buying on or after Black Friday.
Avoid the crowds now and head to a local business for gifts. Or alternatively, order online now to avoid any late deliveries and have peace of mind of checking off your loved-ones gifts on your to-do list.
On the other hand, if you’re making all of your gifts, be sure to buy the materials you’ll need before Thanksgiving to ensure you won’t have to scramble, should items go out-of-stock. While you don’t necessarily have to make and buy all of your gifts now, it will certainly be useful to take advantage of shopping now before prices inevitably increase and items begin to go out of stock.
Not only will this be a huge relief for your wallet, but it may also lower your stress and improve your overall wellbeing too.
Avoid Unnecessary Fees When Shopping
It’s important to make sure you’re paying attention to any unnecessary fees when shopping, especially if you’re shopping online. One of the first types of fees you will want to look for is shipping fees.
Oftentimes, websites will have an option to have free shipping, but next-day or same-day delivery will cost extra.
Next day delivery may be convenient and desirable, but if it ends up costing you more for each package, this convenience can quickly turn into a headache.
Assuming you’re buying with plenty of time to spare, having your gifts shipped later than desired can save you a ton of money in the long-haul.
You’ll also want to look into fees you may be getting charged by your financial institution. From not maintaining a minimum monthly balance to a more generalized ‘maintenance’ fee, you may be getting charged more than you bargained for.
If you are on a tight budget and need some extra money, look into getting a checking account without fees to do all of your holiday shopping with. While this may only save you a few dollars a month, it’s certainly worth the change to making sure you’re spending your money wisely.
Not only that, but it’ll make budgeting and tracking your expenses easier, since you won’t have to factor in or worry about these additional costs!
Browse Online Deals and Coupons
If you are preparing to buy gifts or items for family gatherings, you’ll want to use as many coupons and deals as you can.
When it comes to online shopping, there’s a ton of options that can help you find the lowest price and the best deals around.
From web-browser extensions and like Honey to other online shopping deal sites, there’s no limit to the coupons and discounts you can find to have the smoothest and least expensive shopping experience.
Be sure to check out your favorite sites for the best deals!
Finding discounts in person can be accomplished with ease as well.
Be sure to check the website of whatever business you’re visiting to see if there are any hidden coupons on their site. Even more unknown, manufacturer’s coupons can save you tons of money as well. Overall, making sure you’re crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s beforehand will help out your wallet and peace of mind for this holiday season.
Don’t Forget to D.I.Y
As I’ve hinted at earlier, do-it-yourself projects are a great way to give personalized, well-thought-out gifts to your beloved family and friends, all at a fraction of the cost.
Whether it’s creating a simple papercraft or a knitted or crocheted article of clothing, taking the time to create a homemade gift for your loved ones is something that will be cherished, and save you some extra cash too.
Even if you’re not the most crafty person, there are many tutorials and guides out there to make your gift making as seamless as possible.
As you can likely guess, this will require as much (if not, more) careful planning than a pre-bought gift.
So you will want to research how much time you’re willing to spend on creating these gifts, and how much the material will cost you! While a D.I.Y. gift can be a little trickier to come by, the smile on your family member’s or friend’s face will be sure to make it all worthwhile!
The holidays can come with lots of adored memories and tender moments.
With the craze this year has brought, it’s important to remember what truly matters; spending time with family and friends (even if it’s over a Zoom call this year).
Make sure you use these tips when planning your holiday plans to save as much money as you can!