Gifts, Food, Decorations–We have money-saving ideas!
In a perfect world, we have enough money to purchase all the things we want. However, because most of us live on a budget, we must learn to stretch our dollars just a bit further around this time of year. There are many expenses that you will more than likely endure during the holidays including, gifts, food, and decorations, to name a few. Outline and estimate your expected expenses, set a realistic budget, and follow some money-saving tips below to help you navigate your holiday on a budget.
Gifts: As we make our holiday gift-giving list, think about the people you will purchase gifts for and decide how much money you will spend on each person. An idea that may help to ease the financial strain is to buy gifts for immediate family only. Gifts for extended family and friends can include a cookie platter or a personalized gift that you know they will love. For example, if you know someone who likes to cook, make a recipe book with some of your favorite recipes and buy a new cooking utensil to go with it.
Food: With the increased cost of groceries, setting a food budget is essential. With some planning, purchasing your holiday menu can be achieved on a budget. Consider making items that call for the same ingredients, which will help to reduce the costs of making multiple dishes. Another great way to help keep the budget down with family and friends is to incorporate a potluck theme where everyone contributes something to eat, and no one is left doing all the cooking and baking.
Decorations: According to Business Insider, people in the United States will spend 6 billion dollars this year on Christmas decorations. Are you one of those people who adds decorations as a budget line in your finances? I know I don’t. Planning for this expense will alleviate overspending, and your home will be beautiful for the holidays. The best time to add new or replace damaged decorations is right after Christmas. Be sure to look for online deals, coupons, and “after Christmas” sales to get the most savings.
Planning for the holidays can be grueling, but if you spend a small amount of time looking for deals, learning new DIY holiday ideas, and thinking outside the box, you will find successful ways of navigating through the holidays on a budget. Start your budgeting and planning now, and if you need any assistance, contact me at (207) 660-6267 or email Creynolds@newdimensionsfcu.com to set up a one-on-one appointment.