Raise your hand if you are on a budget? Right, me too. I'm not sure I know a family that isn't on some sort of spending maintenance plan. We groove along pretty well as the year goes by, but the holidays definitely have a way of throwing our money habits off course. From travel expenses to gifts to those little hostess gifts you bring to each festive soiree, they add up and can derail all of your hard work.
Need a few ways to save some moolah in the holidays? Here's a couple I'm trying this year:
-- Be organized. List out everyone and put a dollar amount by each name. Be realistic about your budget as you do this and then always have the list with you to keep you on track, as a reminder of what amount you set for whom.
-- Shop from home. The less time you are in stores, the less chance you have to overspend. Shop online. Not only does it save you travel time to the mall, you save gas money. The key here: whatever store you order from, be sure they offer free shipping.
-- Entertain wisely. If you are throwing a gathering, make it potluck or BYOB, This can be a great way to cut down on costs but still gather all of your friends and family to celebrate the season.
-- Give yourself, not your money. Sure you can make DIY gifts that are awesome but may take a little time, but also think about other things you can give: organizing 10 boxes of photos for your mom, a girls day of lunch and window-shopping with your Aunt Jane, re-painting the basement for your sister...think about ways you can give without spending money.
-- Think one big versus lots of littles. Aim to give one bigger, nicer gift rather than a bunch of little ones. Not only will your giftee will appreciate it more, you will probably spend less money in the long run.
How are you cutting costs this year for the holidays?