Saving for the Holidays
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6 Tips for Saving for the Holidays

Posted on Monday, September 19th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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The holiday season is just around the corner which means it's time to start budgeting and saving. Start planning ahead now to optimize savings! Believe it or not, the holiday season is just around the corner which means it’s time to start budgeting and saving. By planning ahead, you can optimize your holiday savings and relieve yourself of all the last-minute holiday stress. Here’s a step-by-step walk-through to help you prepare for the holidays:

How to Save for the Holidays

  1. Set Your Budget
    If you remember how much you spent last holiday season, you can use that amount to estimate the proper budget for this year. It’s always best to overestimate your budget than to underestimate it – just be careful not to budget more than you can actually afford. Include things such as gifts, food, travel expenses, and decorations in your budget. If you can’t afford to put all these things in your holiday budget, then prioritize them and start with the most important.
  2. Create a Gift List
    Start working on your gift list now so that you have plenty of time to find the best deals on your gifts. This will also give you time to make your own gifts if you want to save even more money. Just make sure the gifts you get now will still be wanted in December. And again, prioritize your gift list. Start with the most important gifts and work your way down the list.
  3. Start Setting Aside Money
    Start setting money aside now. Perhaps start skipping a few Starbucks runs and put the money you save in a holiday savings fund. If you can manage to spend only cash this holiday season, you’ll feel great when the New Year comes around and you’re free of any credit card debt.
  4. Start Shopping Around
    Start keeping your eyes open for deals, coupons, and sales for anything on your holiday shopping list. But don’t forget Black Friday is just around the corner as well – this is the perfect day to score some amazing bargains.
  5. Stock Up On Non-Perishables
    When you find a deal, stock up. It’s also a good idea to start stocking up on popular non-perishable holiday food items so that you don’t wind up fighting over the last turkey or box of stuffing come Christmas Eve. Stay up to date on grocery sales to know when to buy for less.
  6. Make Travel Plans Now
    Are you planning on traveling this holiday season? Book your trip as soon as possible before travel rates peak. Also, look for vacation travel deals.
    Even though it’s only September, planning ahead can save a lot of money and relieve a lot of stress so don’t wait too long to start planning and saving for the holidays!

 

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.