The holiday season is upon us and with it comes the spending season. The damage that overspending does to our budgets is the thing many of us dread most about the holiday season. But you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy the holidays; here are five tips for keeping December spending in check.
- Don’t buy a real tree. If you haven’t done so already, buy an artificial, pre-lit tree. Real trees are a rather large expense that can be avoided each year by having an artificial model. In many areas, a nice size full tree will cost well over $100. If you do not have a fake tree, wait until the end of the holiday season and search for markdowns. This can save you an easy 100 bucks each year.
- Watch the gift cards. When you are shopping for family members or friends and have no idea what to get them, gift cards probably come to mind. The problem with giving a gift card is that the recipient knows exactly how much you spent. Typically when people give gift cards, they spend more than they would if they bought an actual gift.
- Movies. The holiday movie season seems to present us some of the best pictures that we see all year. The problem is that we usually don’t go by ourselves. We take the entire family, and this can make for a very expensive night out. Throw in a couple sodas and popcorns and it only gets worse.
- Go easy on wrapping gifts. Number one, wrap your own gifts. Sure, there is free gift wrapping available but you will feel obligated to leave a donation or a tip. Do not pay for gift wrapping and when you are out buying wrapping paper, think minimal. Paper, bows, ribbon, tags, and more can add up very quickly.
- Don’t pay for shipping. Start your Christmas shopping early and do some, if not all, of it online. Most online retailers will offer some incentive like free shipping on certain orders. Take advantage of it – shipping costs can add up.
If you are careful, you can save hundreds of dollars each holiday season by following the above tips. If you do splurge and go overboard this holiday season, consider a car title loan from Embassy Loans to consolidate your holiday debts and get them paid off quickly.