Each year, when it’s time to create your holiday budget there are often easy ways to cut back so that you have more to spend in the areas that matter most to you. For example, you can cut back on holiday party attire and wear an item from the previous year, so that you can have more money to spend on holiday gifts.
In tip #2 of my Holiday Planning on a Budget series, I shared 5 Steps to Creating a Holiday Budget , but what do you do when your expenses are still a little high? If you’re stuck on where you can make cut-backs, here are 5 more tips and ideas on areas you can scale back during this holiday season:
Budget Tip #1 – Holiday Lighting
Holiday lighting is beautiful but will consume a lot of energy and unnecessary expense if you tend to go overboard. Instead of stringing up thousands of lights this year, consider scaling back.
Budget Tip #2 – Holiday Cards
Instead of spending money on expensive holiday cards, shop around for the best deals. You can also send e-cards, when appropriate, to some people on your holiday card list. Then, after the holidays, stock up on holiday cards for the next year. Most stores discount their cards up to 75%, so it’s a great way to save money.
Budget Tip #3 – Holiday Parties
If you receive more holiday party invites that you have the time for, consider choosing just one or two. You’ll save money on attire and hostess gifts, plus you’ll have more time to spend attending the events you’re truly interested in.
Budget Tip #4 – Cut Back on Gifts
Watching children excitedly open their gifts is priceless. Well, sort of. Your wallet may not agree! Most children aren’t going to notice if there are a few less gifts this year. So, instead of giving an endless number of holiday gifts, cut back and give them one or two gifts that they will remember. They’ll have as much fun and you’ll spend less.
Budget Tip #5 – Use Gift Cards
Giving gift cards has become a lot more acceptable today, and it’s a lot easier for the gift giver. If you know the recipient quite well, you can pick a store they love, and let them choose exactly what they want. This can easily be budget friendly because you will have determined your budget for all gift cards ahead of time, reminding you to stay within your budget.
This holiday season, with a little planning, you can still have a very memorable holiday and you’ll be better able to manage your spending without any stress or debt.