While this time of the year brings much good joy and good cheer, it only brings me shopping anxiety. The feeling of knowing that I have to spend money to buy gifts for my family and friends only remind me that there is a strong possibility that I will yet again go over my spending budget. Not this time around! This holiday season, I plan to say goodbye to over spending and hello to super savings by putting my money towards the things that matter most.
Give the gift of time. Remember holiday spending doesn’t mean you have to put your money into expensive gifts and material things. It’s about spending quality time with those who you love. This holiday, explain to your family and friends that this year will be light on the presents. It doesn’t mean that you love or care for them any less. If they know that you are trying to save and be frugal. After all, your precious time is one of the biggest and most priceless gift that you can give.
Spread good holiday cheer. There are many ways to give without spending much at all. Technology has become our best friend so we can spread cheer by the push of a button. Send e-cards and make it personal or if you’re old school and want to keep it traditional, send your greeting cards by mail. You can also bake tasty, festive goodies and share with family, friends, and work colleagues. If you’re a social butterfly, host an ugly Christmas sweater party at a local bar or make it a potluck and a BYOB. It’s nothing like food and a glass of spiked eggnog to keep the one’s spirit high.
The gift of giving. Time doesn’t always have to be spent with family and friends this season. Put other first and spread love and joy to those who need it most. Each year, especially during this season, hundreds of people—children, men, and women—aren’t fortunate to have a joyous holiday. Try committing selfless acts like volunteering at a local food bank or soup kitchen. You can also host a food, toy, or coat drive at work, your place of worship, or during a happy hour with friends and colleagues.
Get fun and creative. You can still spend money and give gifts this Christmas but make it budget-friendly by using your creative juices. Make Pinterest is your best bet for everything DIY. Research recipes for Christmas treats and give them away as gifts or make personalized tree ornaments that can be used for many years to come. This year try participating in Secret Santa Rules or playing the White Elephant to keep things fun and entertaining. This is an excellent way to save. For each activity, you can set a reasonable spending limit ($20 or less) and you will only have to worry about bringing one gift!
Plan to save. Last but not least, if you are going to spend a little change be sure to make a holiday budget. Make a budget and stick to it. Be realistic about how much you can afford to splurge. There’s still time left—13 days to be exact—do a little shopping research. Shopping.net is a great site to look up and compare prices of several retail stores. If you prefer to shop online,make freeshipping.org your best friend too! Use this online tool to help you save money on shipping cost from your favorite retailers.
This holiday season, spend a little but give a lot!