Jingle All the Way to Savings This Holiday Season

by Mandi Moynihan, CFP® on Thursday September 14, 2023
Posted in Category: Budgeting, Family, Saving
Tagged with : ,

Family in a check-out aisle

Fall is by far my favorite season! Football is back, the weather is cooling off and our family is settling back into a routine. I often get caught up in this excitement and find the holidays sneaking up on me. While the holidays are known for being the most wonderful time of the year, they can also wreak havoc on your wallet if you’re not prepared.

Here are my 6 holiday hacks to keep your wallet (and sanity) intact:

  1. ‘Tis the season to save. Earmark a portion of your next few paychecks for holiday spending on gifts and entertainment. You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up and helps when the time comes to make purchases. Be sure to keep this tip in mind next year so you can get started saving even sooner.
  2. Unwrap your budget. Before you dive into everyone’s wish list, set parameters. Determine how much you’ll spend on gifts, decorations, and entertainment. The key here – stick to your plan! Think about it. Have you ever woken up in January wishing you’d spent just a little bit more during the holidays? Me neither.
  3. Spread cheer with DIY delights. I struggle with this one since I couldn’t create my way out of a paper bag, but I love being on the receiving end. For those of you creative and crafty types, this is a great way to save money. And honestly, these gifts can be even more special than something store-bought. Handmade decorations, baked goods, or even a personalized photo or memory album are examples of low-cost yet high-value ideas.
  4. Propose a jolly potluck party. I love to host friends and family for a night of merriment, but those expenses can add up quickly! To ease the budget burden yet still enjoy the night, suggest a potluck. Everyone can try new foods and beverages, get some fresh ideas, and enjoy each other just the same without the stress of overspending or racking up debt on a credit card.
  5. Boost your holiday spirit and seek a side gig. Earning a little extra cash for the holidays is a great way to boost the budget. Many retailers look for extra help this time of year. You could also offer to dog walk, babysit or house sit to earn some extra dough.
  6. Raid a friend’s festive wardrobe. This hack is geared to the military spouses out there as dressing up for holiday parties is a fun way to celebrate the season. If you open your closet only to find a dress you wore to the last military ball, you might be tempted to go shopping. Instead, consider phoning a friend to borrow a dress or check out Operation Deploy Your Dress.

These tips should help you ring in the holiday season with a little less stress and a little more joy. After all, the true magic of this time of year isn’t about making your hard-earned money do a disappearing act, but rather it’s the ability to spend time and make memories with the ones you love.


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