It’s estimated the average American will spend $700 on the holidays this year, and it was reported that last year consumers racked up more than $1,200 in debts from holiday spending. If you’re concerned about overspending this holiday season, don’t worry, TLC is here to help! Follow these creative ways to curb your holiday spending this year!
Make a holiday budget
We understand, no one actually enjoys creating budgets, but they never fail to be the most effective way to track and limit spending. It’s beneficial to start with last year’s holiday season credit card and bank statements. Then make a list of potential costs for this year, estimating if those will increase or decrease this year. This list should include more than just gifts. Expenditures such as gas, decorations, food, etc. should be accounted for as well.
After you complete your calculations, make needed adjustments. Are there any purchases that can be completely eliminated or bought from discount stores? Creating a budget early allows you to start saving ahead of time. That way when the time for holiday shopping comes you’ll already have funds set aside and it won’t seem like such a large expense.
Avoid buying gifts on credit
When buying gifts and other holiday items, try to avoid using credit cards as much as possible. When you buy a $20 gift on credit, you have to pay the credit card company that $20 back, plus 20% or so interest each month until the balance is paid off. So unless you pay off the balance immediately, you could be paying for your holiday gifts for many years to come. This is why it’s best to use debit or cash whenever possible.
If you are using credit, check to see if you have any rewards to redeem. See if you can offset any of your travel, food, or gift-giving costs using points you’ve earned through credit card rewards or loyalty programs. Let your rewards take care of big or small costs so you can stress less about your budget and focus more on making new holiday memories.
Skip the store and shop online
Shopping online can allow you to save in more ways than one. There are multiple coupon and discount code sites that immediately add saving to items in your cart, such as Honey. You can also comparison shop at deal-oriented sites like RetailMeNot and eDealinfo. Not to mention you’ll also save on gas, possible parking fees, child care, etc.
When online shopping be sure to factor in shipping prices. Look out for stores that offer free shipping deals, as many do throughout the holidays, for Cyber Monday, or on Free Shipping Day.
Start collecting coupons
We’ve already mentioned a few ways to find coupons when shopping online, but this should be done when shopping in-store as well. Before heading to the store skim through coupons you’ve received in the mail or in the paper. While searching through flyers make sure to comparison shop for the item you’re interested in. Savings of $10 to $100 can happen just by keeping your eyes peeled for deals.
Make gifts personalized with more DIYs
Small, personal, or homemade gifts often times mean more than something extravagant and expensive ones. DIY gifts can show the extra thought, care, and effort that you put into it. Also, who doesn’t love a basket of baked goods? You can also save a lot of money by purchasing nearly-new items on eBay.com. Consider additional alternatives like secret santa, grab gifts, or just having a potluck dinner. Most friends and family members appreciate opportunities to save money and just spend time together.
There are endless ways to save during the holidays, it just takes creativity and staying focused on the real meaning of gift-giving: showing friends and family you appreciate them. Also keep in mind that the more you save during the holidays, the more money you’ll have free for the new year!
Personal Loans with TLC
If you do run into financial trouble this holiday season, you’re not alone. At TLC we’re here to provide you with a solution that resolves or bridges your current troubles for an extended period of time and to provide you with a convenient and dependable source for additional cash whenever you need it! We design our loans to match life and all applications are considered, so never hesitate to apply!