Do you think it is not possible to save for the holidays? It is possible.
We always get excited for the holidays. As a result we tend to overindulge, splurge, and overstress. To summarize – we overspend. Do not deny. You have been there. You have done these things for the holidays.
As consequence, you get a hangover from all the things that should not be. It’s because your mindset is based on what the television ads or marketing pitches for products tell you. Or it might be because your friend will be having such extravagant parties, or house makeover, for the holidays. You just have to do the same, or make even better than your friend.
We tend to forget what the holiday is all about. Usually it is not about you but about what you are capable of giving. You argue that it is the reason you spend much for the holidays. Giving does not need to be with a price always. It can be done with little expense, or even free.
How do I save for, and during, the holidays? You ask.
To make it easy for you, consider the word SAVE. Use the acronym to remember how to do it.
Let’s start with the letter – S.
People expect holidays. Like it or not, they are listed on the calendar. Celebrations are inevitable. The loved ones anticipate. The self-needs pampering. And so forth.
What do we do with foreseeable expenses? We save money for them.
“But, I do not have enough money to include these on my savings list!” You argue.
This is where you set a savings goal. Perhaps your main objective is to have a simpler but meaningful Christmas holiday. List down the items you need for that simple celebration, include the gifts, the food, and other expenses.
If you think a separate holiday account is a helpful idea, why not? If you think you need to save your pocket changes, why not? If you need to keep gift cards, bags, accessories, decorations so that you can use them again on the next holiday, why not? If you think of cutting back extra expenses which are not truly necessary, why not? You are doing it all in the name of saving money for the holidays anyway.
Some people do not even spend money for gifts. They offer their services, their skills, to serve as gifts. Others just give equal amounts of money or same kinds of gift for everybody. Wouldn’t it be a nicer way to save money? Or if you really consider buying expensive gifts, you can save money little by little.
The most important thing you need to do to achieve your goal is to have a mindset different from the previous one. The way you change how you think about the whole holiday celebration creates fruitful and beneficial results that you will value.
Let’s go to the next letter – A.
This is where you budgeting skills enter. When you budget, you set apart money for special purposes. In this situation, you create a budget plan for the holidays.
We all know that a budget includes money for all the items needed for the holiday celebration. You might have to include money for unexpected costs, too.
Actually, allotting money or having a budget is the first process. You cannot save money unless you have a definite budget plan. It is next on this list of to-do only for the purpose of easy recall about what needs to be done to save money for the holidays.
Allot time to check your budget after the holidays. Examine how well you did the previous year and learn how to correct past mistakes in budgeting your money. You will be able to plan for the following year, saving money along the way because you already learned your mistakes.
Now, let’s move to letter – V.
You are familiar with this action word. If not, this is about changing direction. From where? You need to veer from your old approach to celebrating the holidays. You have to do it to save for, and during, the holidays.
Some people realized that impulse buying is bad. You need to recognize it, too. You have to know when to stop. If you plan to buy something out of the budget, stop. You will end with a bloated inventory of payable, or unnecessary buys.
Veer from traditions if they will cost a big dent in your savings. After all, you do not make holiday celebrations expensive to make it unforgettable. Spend wisely.
You may consider doing ‘pot luck’ for the parties to save a lot of money. Always, there will be volunteers willing to do decorations. This may even surprise your relatives and friends and they will surely love the idea of contributing something to the celebration.
It is also during these holidays that malls will offer sale. You may never want to rush. After all, if you do not do shop comparisons, you end up buying something cheaper and unreliable.
Offer services as gifts to friend and relatives. This will need no money at all but you were able to give a gift from the heart.
The last letter is E.
Ensure that you have other ways to earn. You have to earn money during the holiday season. This will serve as a cushion from unexpected expenses. Holiday celebrations are like fields with obstacle courses. You have to prep for these scenarios.
Today, there are online jobs that you can consider to earn extra money. Some part-time jobs are also available. These are not equal to your regular day-job but they can help.
Thomas Tusser has this interesting quote: “At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.” It is with these types of thinking that people overspend for holidays like Christmas because it only comes once a year. The reason why people overspend.
But you don’t have to do it, right? It is always possible to save money, especially for, and during, the holidays.
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