12 months of saving: 7 Money saving holiday spending tips keep you on track
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but it can also be one of the most expensive! Whether you’re shopping for Christmas, Hannuakah, or Ramadan, don’t get wrapped up in the holiday spending trap.
Save some money this holiday season
If you haven’t started holiday shopping, here are some surefire ways to save when shopping.
Make a list
Write down everyone you need a present for. Figure out how much money you have to spend on each person or your total budget.
If you know what you want to get them, write it down. This can help you stay on track while shopping versus impulse buying in the store as well as save you time when you get to the store. If you have already done some planning and know the store, write it down.
Stick to your list and be careful of “great deals” or splurges that you might find. If you come under budget, stick that money into a Bonus Saver savings account. By this time next year it might even have earned you enough extra money to buy a present or two!
A couple of things to consider:
- Comparison shop. Many stores will even price match.
- Keep watching the sales even when you’re done shopping. If you buy something and it goes on sale a week later, most retailers will refund you the difference.
- Save ALL receipts. Most retailers require a receipt to get the full amount back after Christmas when returning gifts.
Do you have a never-ending list of people on your gift buying list? If so, find a few people you can cross off. Do you really need to buy for co-workers, your hair dresser, the mailman or the dog groomer? A nice holiday card can share your well wishes and season’s greetings.
If you feel like you just can’t cross them off the list, consolidate.
Instead of buying something for everyone in the family, look for a family gift idea. Think of a fun activity that the entire family could do together. Perhaps a movie basket with treats and a big blanket to snuggle in for a movie night, or a snow day activity kit to help the kids fend off boredom. You’ll look like a great gift giver and save some cash in the process.
Skip the stores and do your shopping online – it’s a great way to avoid the holiday bustle at the malls and save money. You’d be surprised by how many retailers offer online holiday sales and specials that aren’t available in stores.
Make sure you purchase from sites offering cheap or free shipping – don’t bust your budget on expensive shipping charges.
Keep an eye out for online coupon codes to save even more money! You can earn triple the amount of points when you use your Numerica Visa® Card on Black Friday or Christmas Eve, double points are available on qualifying purchases through the end of the year!
- Start early! The earlier you start, the better deals you will find. You really can save on Black Friday.
- Shop the sales and don’t be ashamed to use coupons. Retailers are offering discounts and rebates on most anything. Take advantage of this. Even if it’s only $5, every bit adds up.
Negotiate gift spending
Talk with family and friends who you exchange gifts with and agree to keep the presents within a certain dollar amount. This will save both of you from stressing about holiday finances. It can also be a bit of an adventure to find something that falls under the budget as well.
If you are out shopping and can’t find your card, remember that Numerica offers free Card Freeze on all of our Visa debit and credit cards.
Not only is an exchange an added layer of fun for everyone, it is a great way to cut costs if you’re trying to purchase gifts for a large or extended family. Each member of the family draws a name and purchases one gift for that person. A spending limit is set for everyone to stick to.
Cut the gifts all together
The holidays are about spending time with those we love. Suggest that the entire family forgo the gifts this year and get together for a special event or a nice meal instead.
If you are looking at getting together for a meal, do a potluck. It helps to reduce costs for the host and then you know some of your family’s favorites will be on the table too. (A great trick for those picky eaters!)
Save on the wrapping
Use retailers who provide free gift wrapping – this saves time, money and ensures pretty presents. Also, stock up on discounted wrapping paper when the season is over to save money next year.
Brown kraft wrapping paper (or paper drop cloth) from home improvement stores tied up with some discount ribbon makes for a shabby chic wrapping option. Kids can also draw and color on the paper to give it a one of a kind design.
Ready to get saving? Check out our recent savings articles.