With the holiday season upon us, many families are stressing over finances and how they’re going to survive the shopping and buying. In fact, money is such a trigger issue for many families that it can totally ruin the happiness of the season. Don’t let this be you!
Six Budget Friendly Holiday Shopping Tips
You don’t need thousands of dollars of disposable income to have a happy holiday season. You can buy gifts for everyone on your list by observing these helpful tips:
- Make a List and Check it Twice
Blindly shopping for holiday gifts is foolish. Before you ever spend a dollar, you need to sit down and make a list. On the list, write down everyone you want to buy a gift for. Next to each name, place a dollar amount. Under no circumstances, should you spend more than the allotted dollar amount. (It doesn’t matter how cute it is!)
- Space Out Purchases
The smartest thing you can do is space out your purchases. For example, instead of buying all of your gifts over one weekend and suddenly spending $1,000, space things out and spend $250 per month from September through December. You’ll feel much better about your situation and won’t put yourself in such a compromised position. Better yet, once December rolls around, you’ll have already spent 75 percent of your budget and won’t feel so anxious about the final 25 percent.
- Shop on Black Friday
Black Friday is the perfect time to shop for holiday gifts. While you’ll probably want to avoid waiting in long lines at big box stores, you can find a ton of good deals online. If you know exactly what you’re looking for and wait patiently for deals to pop up, you can often save 15 to 25 percent on name brand products. That can equal considerable savings when you’re working with a strict budget.
- Make Your Own Gifts
Who says you have to purchase gifts? Browse Pinterest, head to the arts and crafts store, and set aside a Saturday afternoon to make some handmade gifts. People love receiving handmade gifts because they feel more thoughtful. Here are some good ideas that cost $10 or less per gift.
- Set Aside Money Each Week
If you’re notorious for blowing through your savings, then you’d do well to set aside money each week leading up to the holiday season. Even if it’s just $20 a week, you can easily save a couple hundred dollars in the months leading up to December and cover your gift expenses for the season.
- Take Out a Home Equity Line of Credit
While it’s certainly not the first choice, you can take out a home equity line of credit and use those funds to pay for gifts. You should only do this if you have a lot of equity in your home, though.
“If you want to borrow money from the bank, you can use the equity as collateral,” HomeEquityLineOf.Credit explains. “Some homeowners opt for this method over the alternatives, and it can grant them access to funds that would have been unavailable otherwise.”
Don’t Get Caught Up in Doing More
When you’re surrounded by friends and family who are doing very well financially, it’s difficult to cut back and have a conservative holiday season. Naturally, you want to keep up with everyone else and give your kids the things they want. But as people commonly say, “Remember the reason for the season.” Seeing who can spend the most money and buy the grandest gifts is not the goal. Once your family realizes this, some of the pressure and anxiety will dissolve.