Choose Affordable Traditions
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Ways to Save During the Holidays – Choose Affordable Traditions

Posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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Family All Together At Christmas DinnerIt’s never too late to start a new holiday tradition! And let us remind you that choosing affordable traditions never hurt! Instead of wreaking havoc on your monthly budget in the name of the holiday season, we suggest trying some of these affordable alternative activities:

1. Secret Santa

Trying secret Santa is an especially great idea if you come from a large family. Instead of buying presents for all 24 cousins, 5 aunts, 7 uncles, etc., try organizing a secret Santa gift exchange instead. Write down all the participants’ names on scrap paper, fold them up, and place them in a bowl. Each person will draw a name and purchase a present for the drawn name. When writing down names it might be a good idea to write gift suggestions on your paper too to give the gift giver some additional guidance.  Also, it’s always helpful to provide an affordable cap on the cost of gifts such as a maximum of $20.

2. Family Potluck

Instead of your entire family heading out to an ultra-expensive dinner try hosting a potluck instead. Not only does homemade food always taste better, but it’ll be way cheaper too! By hosting a potluck you’ll save yourself a hassle, because everyone else is chipping in too, and allowing for more quality family time in your home. To prevent any confusion we recommend having a sign-up sheet or simply assigning dishes yourself in advance.

3. Arts and Crafts

Don’t purchase holiday decorations you can make yourself. We repeat, don’t purchase holiday decorations you can make yourself! Instead host an arts and crafts party! Get the entire family involved in making seasonal decorations as an affordable alternative to purchasing decorations. Whether you’re a snowflake fanatic or love popcorn strands, spending an evening with the family getting creative is time and money better spent in comparison to purchasing decorations.

4. Choose Holiday Activities Carefully

This might surprise you, but there are plenty of seasonal and holiday activities you can do at an affordable price or for free! We’ve come up with some simple ideas to get you started:

  • See the holiday decorations by taking a stroll around your neighborhood 
  • Go sledding, make snowmen, master the art of the snow angel, etc.
  • Bake and decorate holiday cookies with your family
  • Caroling
  • Create holiday cards
  • Watch a holiday movie and drink hot chocolate


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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.