Six Tips for Saving Money During the 2020 Holiday Season
It’s hard to believe the 2020 holiday season is just around the corner. While the holiday season may look a little different this year, many of us will still be hoping to spread some holiday cheer—which may include putting up holiday decorations and exchanging gifts. For many, enjoying all these festivities can really add up and make a significant impact on our wallets. According to fortunly, U.S. households spent an average of $1,536 during the 2019 holiday season and 22 percent of Americans believe holiday spending will leave them in debt.
The good news is there is still time to budget and save for the expenses that holidays inevitably bring. By planning now, you can lessen the impact the holidays will have on your bank accounts and credit cards. Here are six tips to help you save money during the holiday season:
- Make a list and check it twice.
Make a list of all your anticipated holiday expenses. Include items such as gifts, food, wrapping, decorations and even postage for holiday cards. Then, determine a budget that will allow you to reasonably pay for these items. If your list is too big for your budget, consider scaling back on things like the number of gifts you give, the amount you spend on each gift or buying additional decorations. Then, start saving now by setting aside a certain amount each time you get paid to go toward your holiday spending.
- Start shopping now.
Now that you know who you will be purchasing gifts for, make a list of what you would like to give each person and start searching for deals now. Shopping ahead of the busy holiday shopping season has many potential benefits:
- Especially during the 2020 holiday season, online shopping is a safe and socially distanced way to shop.
- You may avoid potential seasonal price increases.
- Your items are more likely to be in stock.
- You have more time to find your gifts on sale or clearance.
- If shopping online, you will have plenty of time to have your item delivered on time and avoid rush shipping charges.
- You will have plenty of time to drop your gift in the mail, if needed.
- Gradually buy ingredients for holiday meals.
While holiday meals leave our tummies full, they can make our wallets feel empty, especially if you are the host. But by planning your menu now, you can start buying nonperishable food items ahead of time to lessen the impact on your wallet later. Watch for sales on ingredients for baked goods such as flour, sugar, chocolate, etc. as well as sales on ham, turkey or other ingredients that can be safely frozen now and used for your holiday dinner later. Another alternative is to plan potluck meals where every attendee is responsible for bringing a portion of the holiday meal.
- Minimize your gift wrapping costs.
Wrapping gifts is big business. According to U.S. News & World Report, Americans spend $3.2 billion a year on wrapping paper. But you don’t have to break your bank with fancy wrapping paper. Consider purchasing plain colored paper and/or gift bags that represents the holiday you are celebrating. Doing so will likely cost less than the preprinted paper. Plus, you can personalize your gift by adding your own designs and messages. Also, there is no shame in reusing gift bags that have been given to you. Not only will it cost you less, reusing bags is more friendly to our planet.
- Resist purchasing holiday decorations for now.
Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like fun and festive holiday décor. But try to hold back on purchasing that twinkling delight until it is on sale. Often, you will see retailers cut prices for holiday décor the day after Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. It may even be your best option to wait to purchase décor until after this year’s holiday season is over. Doing so could save you 50 percent or more! You may not get to enjoy it this holiday season, but you will enjoy getting a great deal and have it ready for holiday seasons to come.
- Spend time volunteering.
As the holidays draw closer, explore ways that you can safely time spend with your family by volunteering for a local charity. Doing so will help you celebrate the season of giving without spending any money, by giving back to others and enjoying each other’s company. Examples include singing carols in your neighborhood, collecting food donations for a local food pantry, and shopping for gifts or hanging holiday lights for a family in need.
If you haven’t already, get started on your holiday planning, budgeting and saving today. If you are looking for a safe place to save for your holiday spending, a personal banker can help you open a saving account that meets your needs. Call an FNBO branch location or visit us at fnbo.com today.