It May Be Time to Cut Back This Holiday Season

Managing the Holiday Season Can Be a Job in Itself

Fall is here, the time where our collective attention usually shifts to the holidays.  Whether it’s planning for parties, making travel accommodations, or shopping for gifts, October usually marks the beginning of a holiday marathon that doesn’t end until New Year’s Day.  With everything going on in the world these days, it’s possible that you haven’t started budgeting for the holidays or maybe have a lot less money to spend.  Here are some tips to get you to 2024 in one piece. 

Talk About the Holidays Beforehand

If you’ve never discussed your gift plan before, now is the perfect time to start.  Financial insecurity is more common than ever before, and other people are likely in the same boat.  Talk with the people you always exchange gifts with and ask how they would feel about minimizing presents.  You can do this by having a secret Santa gift exchange instead of buying a gift for every person.  This still maintains the fun of gift-giving without the financial and mental pressure of buying multiple gifts.  Another option would be to encourage everyone to purchase gifts only for the children in your family/group.   

Create a Budget

Comb through your budget, your bank statements, and your credit card accounts to see how much extra you can afford to spend this holiday season.  Then go through last year’s credit card and bank statements to get an idea of how much you usually spend on the holidays.  Most people will underestimate that figure, so it is best to get accurate figures.  Decide how much you are comfortable spending this year.  Again, don’t feel bad if you are cutting back. 

Feel Empowered to Spend Less

With all the unknowns the past three years have brought, this year is a great time to refocus your holiday traditions.  Know you are making the best decision for yourself and your family by focusing more on thoughtful gift-giving and less on extravagant, showy presents. 

Find Ways to Earn Extra Money

If you still need an extra cushion this holiday season, picking up a temporary side gig may help you solve your holiday woes.  Many traditional retail places need additional help during the busy season.  Also, the growth of delivery services such as Uber Eats and Postmates can provide a flexible way to secure more holiday funding. 

Open a Separate Bank Account

When saving for a short-term goal, a separate bank account can make it easier to track your goals and better set you up for success. 

Look for Coupons

When buying gifts, try to take advantage of every way possible to save money.  Installing browser extensions such as “Honey” can help you find the best deals.  Just click the extension when checking out and “Honey” will apply any relevant codes.  When you find an item you want to purchase, you can add it to your droplist and be notified if it goes on sale.