Being restricted to a holiday budget has the benefit of controlling your spending. When you don’t spend wads of cash during the holidays, you can breathe easier throughout the year.
Unfortunately, a small holiday budget can stress some people out to the point that shopping loses its luster. It’s a lot different than walking into the store with a collection of credit cards that give you thousands in purchasing power. By being different, however, a budget won’t leave you with credit card bills that you’ll probably be paying well into next year.
Now that you see the most prominent advantage a budget provides, it’s time to see how to make the most of yours. Follow these simple tips to save, and you’ll find that your budget isn’t so bad after all.
1. Give your free gifts to others.
Many stores offer free gifts when you make a purchase, especially when they’re items like makeup, perfume, or cologne.
For instance, you may buy a bottle of perfume and get a bottle of moisturizer for free. While that moisturizer may not be your main gift for someone, it can be part of a gift. You can then buy them something cheaper as their main gift, which saves you money in the process.
2. Regift what you receive to others.
This may not be a popular move, but you can regift items you receive to others to cut costs.
If you received something you won’t use from a coworker, for instance, you could give it to someone else on your list without spending a penny.
3. Get cash back on your purchases.
Several apps make it super-simple to save during every single month of the year. Use them during the holidays, and you may see even more savings than usual.
As an example, add Rakuten to your Chrome browser. As you shop, you can earn cash back plus find coupon codes to double your savings with hardly any work involved.
Honey is a similar browser extension that acts as a virtual assistant for savings. There’s no need to search for coupon codes or the best deals, as Honey will do it for you once it’s added as a Chrome extension.
4. Skip the lines and enjoy free shipping instead.
Unless you love the holiday rush at shopping malls and stores, make your purchases online to save on gas. In addition, you can save on shipping since many sites will offer it as a bonus.
Some websites may require a minimum purchase for free shipping. Keep this in mind before you shop if you plan on making small purchases. If that particular store charges you to ship it to your door, you may be better-served shopping elsewhere.
5. Make your own gifts.
You pay a hefty premium for gifts assembled by manufacturers. If you enjoy working with your hands, you can make your own gifts for a fraction of the cost.
A quick search online will lead you to many do-it-yourself gift ideas. By taking the time to make something original, the person who receives it will know that you really care.
6. Find free events.
The holidays are loaded with free events that won’t cost you a thing. Find them locally, and you won’t spend so much on end-of-year entertainment.