The Ber months are upon us! And that only means one thing: Christmas is just around the corner. It’s usually a time for festivities and merriment… if you’re 21 or below. But for the rest of us, the weeks and days before Christmas can be filled with dread. Shopping for gifts, saving up for that big purchase, and figuring out budgets? And we’re not even talking about last-minute shopping yet.
The only way to make this seem like you’re not opening a can of worms is to plan. The longer you’re able to plan, the better results you’ll get. As Confucius once said: “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” But with these money-saving tips. trouble will have a harder time finding your wallet.
When it comes to budgeting limited funds, prioritization is key. Before you’re able to start setting aside money for your Christmas spending, you have to make sure your living expenses and bills get taken care of first, for example, payments for your car insurance premium. Then work your way on how much you’ll start saving vs spending on less than necessary items.
In addition, using a credit card for bills payment is a frequently overlooked but effective way to actually save money. There are credit cards that feature cashback or rewards when they’re used for paying bills or shopping for groceries. Try to find out if you’re active credit card has this or apply for a credit card that has this feature.
Change your gift-giving philosophy.
Gift-giving doesn’t always necessarily equate to buying stuff for the people you care about. Sometimes, a handwritten letter or an item you made yourself can be so much more thoughtful and sentimental. Finding time to learn how a person wants to be loved and appreciated more than receiving gifts can be better not just for your bottom line but for your relationships as well.
Use an app to track your spending.
If you ask yourself “where did my money go?” most of the time, then this tip is perfect for you. There are a lot of free powerful budget and spending trackers in the app store that could help you visualize your spending. Use this to learn about your habits and unlearn those that burn a hole in your pocket.
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your gifts or treats this coming holiday season. Try to nab a good deal when you see one, especially if you know it’s a gift your loved ones will definitely cherish. Also, if you’re the type to go on holiday trips this Christmas, ticket prices and accommodations are usually way cheaper when booked earlier than later.
Research before you buy.
If you must buy gifts this Christmas, and we know you will, try to get a good range of price for every item on your list. Most of this information is available online and this will help you buy these items at the lowest possible price. Also, be on the lookout for major sale events to see if the prices will dip even lower. Put that wishlist button to good news. Who knows, you might save a little more pocket money to buy something nice for yourself later.
Buy gifts online at the same time.
Don’t let your budget go to waste on shipping costs when you can buy your gifts altogether online and save with free shipping. E-tailers usually ask for a minimum spend to grant you free shipping so buy in bulk and save.
Recycling is a good habit to learn all year round. While regifting is kind of frowned upon, nobody can say that it’s not practical. It’s okay to regift as long as they don’t know it. And if you know that someone will appreciate a gift exchanged with you more than you do then by all means, regift.
Also, learn to open gift bags and wrappers properly so you could cut on waste and spend on gift bags and wrappers. You can use them again and mother nature will be happier for it.
This article is written in collaboration with eCompareMo.com. Check out www.ecomparemo.com/vehicle-insurance to compare and save on car insurance rates this holiday season.