I love Christmas, I really do. But what I don’t love about Christmas is the expense of it all. I find the financial burden of the holidays to be stressful, and something that not a lot of people talk about. There’s pressure to spend a certain amount on family and friends, regardless of the gifts you actually buy. And the thought of getting all the bills in January – there’s not enough eggnog and rum in the world to make me feel okay about that!
As we head into another holiday season, let’s all make a commitment to do things differently this year. Let’s not get buried in thousands of dollars worth of debt. Let’s find a new way.
Save Your Pennies Now
When it comes to saving up for the holidays, I always start early. Just taking a little bit out of every paycheque starting in September, you’ll soon find that you have plenty of cash on hand to spend on your family and friends. Even if you didn’t start this back in September, it’s not too late. Put aside what you think you’ll spend, and you won’t have to bring out the credit cards to buy presents with money you don’t have. And in January, when everyone else is stressing about paying off their bills, you’ll be sitting pretty!
Use Your Loyalty Cards
Have you been religiously swiping your Shoppers Optimum Card, or collecting PC Points? Good! Don’t spend them yet! Wait till the holidays draw nearer. There’s nothing quite like heading to the checkout with armloads of holiday supplies, and getting them all for FREE! Save up the points on your loyalty cards and use them at the holidays. You’ll get a tonne of bang for virtually no bucks!
Consider Making Some Gifts
Who doesn’t love some fresh baked squares or a jar of delicious pickles? Making gifts is a great way to show someone you care without having to break the bank. Not a baker or a pickler? Well, the way I see it, the whole Internet is here for us, to show us step by step how to make delicious things. There’s even how-to videos! It couldn’t be easier. And just think how impressed your mom will be when you present her with something you’ve made yourself. Homemade gifts are a great way to be thoughtful and frugal at the same time.
There you have it – the holidays on a budget. Do you have any tips? Share them in the comments!