8 Ways to Save Money This Holiday Season
Saving money is something we can all strive to improve on, but especially around the holidays as we’re tempted from every direction to spend our hard-earned money. Cutting out frivolous purchases is easier said than done, but the reward is worth it. If you’re hoping to make a big investment in the next year or two, such as buying a house, pinching your pennies now will be very helpful down the road. Below, we’ll share some of the best ways you can focus on growing your bottom line while still enjoying all the holiday season has to offer.
Cut the coffee habit.
It’s so easy to run through the drive-thru for a cup of coffee while you’re out, especially with the temptation of festive holiday drinks. However, it’s possible to make a delicious mug of coffee right at home and save big while doing so! With so many fun coffees and add-ins available at your local grocery store, you can achieve the same taste at a fraction of the cost by brewing it yourself! It may not seem like much, but if you trade your daily $5 latte for a $1 cup of coffee at home, that’s nearly $1500 worth of savings you can put toward a down payment on a house!
Cook at home.
Like your drive-thru coffee habit, getting food from a restaurant can get expensive quickly! It doesn’t help that new food delivery apps make it even easier to impulsively order food rather than cook a meal at home. However, buying groceries and preparing your own meals can save you a lot of cash! You don’t have to be a pro chef to make great meals at home. Keep it simple, and browse Pinterest if you need some recipe inspiration.
Set a gift budget.
Gift-giving is such an integral part of the holiday season, so it’s easy to see how spending can add up quickly when you’re buying for family and friends. Before you begin your shopping, set a reasonable and affordable budget for gifting, and most importantly, stick to it! You may not think so, but your loved ones will surely appreciate you thinking of them even if you don’t blow your budget on the newest high-tech gift for them!
Give from the heart.
A great way to save big on gifting is to create handmade gifts for everyone on your list. Even if you’re not the crafty type, you can probably follow a recipe for a delicious holiday treat that everyone will enjoy!
With a few big shopping days coming up after Thanksgiving, it’s worth keeping tabs on the prices of things you’re planning to purchase. It might be worth taking advantage of the sale prices to save big on your overall gift budget. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to shop sales, since most can be done online in the comfort of your home. Just beware of making impulse purchases because it’s ‘on sale’!
This is a rule that many serious budgeters follow. If you set a budget for all of your expenses (including holiday gift-giving) and use exact cash to pay for it, you can’t overspend. It’s much too easy to go overboard when you can just put purchases on a credit card, so don’t give in to the temptation! Using cash can keep you on track despite all of the flashy advertising enticing you to keep spending.
Look for free or low-cost activities.
The holiday season can indeed be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many ways to get into the spirit of the season without going broke. Drive around and look at the festive lights in the area with a mug of (homemade) hot cocoa, watch your favorite holiday movies, spend an evening around the fire pit with s’mores, or check out the holiday displays in your town. If you do choose to spend money on a holiday experience, take the time to thoughtfully choose the one you and your family will enjoy the most!
Take advantage of money-saving apps.
There are a multitude of ways you can save money without much effort on your end, thanks to technology. Simply downloading apps on your phone and computer and scanning receipts or activating a coupon code can help you achieve small savings that add up over time. The best part is, you can use as many savings apps as you’d like, so you can technically ‘double-dip’ on saving money if you don’t mind taking a few extra steps after a purchase.
Don’t let the process of saving money overwhelm you. There are so many practical ways to save that will make a huge impact on your overall financial situation over time. It’s especially important to think about saving right now since the holiday season can really bust your budget if you’re not conscious of your spending habits!
At C&F, we’re focused on you and want to help you achieve your financial goals by setting you up with tools for success. Get in touch with our team today if you’re looking to buy or refinance your home!