Dinners, parties and gifts … oh my! The holiday season is upon us and that means for most, spending will be at an all-time high. While some may have saved throughout the year for this special season of giving, many will break out their credit cards and dig themselves into debt. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can still make it a holly, jolly Christmas — without going into debt. Here’s how:
Folly: Buying whatever strikes your fancy at the time and not keeping track of what you spend or buy.
Jolly: Making a budget and sticking to it. This way, you don’t end up with too much stuff or a lot of filler that doesn’t have meaning.
Folly: Buying random gifts and then figuring out who to give them to.
Jolly: Take note from old Saint Nick. Make a list of recipients, gifts and what you want to spend. Then check them off, one by one!
Folly: Waiting until the last minute to do your shopping.
Jolly: The early bird not only gets the worm, but gets the best prices, too! Shop around and do your homework so you can take advantage of sales and get more bang for your buck.
Folly: Spending too much on entertainment for you and your family.
Jolly: Some of the best experiences in life can’t be bought. Why not host a Christmas movie marathon, go caroling or drive around your neighborhood to see everyone’s decorations? Sometimes the simple things are the sweetest.
Folly: Getting too caught up in the buying season.
Jolly: Giving back to those less fortunate. There are tons of ways to give your time or money to those who need help this season. Forgo a few gifts and reallocate that money to charity. Tis the season for giving … back to your community!
Folly: Breaking the bank on decorations.
Jolly: Have any holly bushes outside? Cut off a few branches to use in a display or put in a vase. Have pine trees or evergreens in your backyard? Make your own garland with some twine or ribbon! String together popcorn and cranberries or make a paper chain. Thrifty (but beautiful) decorating ideas are endless!
Folly: Buying your kids everything on their wish list.
Jolly: Starting a new tradition like “want, need, wear, read.” Buy four presents, one for each category. Not only will it make the gifts more meaningful, it will save a lot of money, too!
Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle. There are countless ways to save money this holiday season. Make your holiday a jolly occasion and head into 2016 without a bunch of extra debt weighing you down!