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The Secret to a Cheaper Holiday Season

The Secret to a Cheaper Holiday Season

As the holidays quickly approach, managing your money wisely becomes difficult. We shower our loved ones with gifts, celebrate the season with fancy dinners, and go all-out on new décor. The budget tends to go out the window when the holidays come around. There’s no harm in enjoying the holiday season, but this blog will help you make sure you don’t enter January with empty pockets.

Set a Realistic Budget

Odds are, if you set a tight and strict budget for the holidays, you’ll end up feeling frustrated and annoyed. Take into account last-minute purchases, who you’re getting gifts for, any traveling you may do, holiday activities and more. A helpful tip is to set a general budget for each person you get a gift for, that way you know exactly how much to spend for each loved one.

Cut Out the Unnecessary Expenses

We’re all guilty of splurging on things we definitely didn’t need during the holidays. Skip those appealing, yet overpriced holiday coffees and you’ll be surprised how much money you save. You can factor “treating yourself” into your budget without going overboard on the unnecessary holiday treats and activities.

Choose Budget-Friendly Holiday Activities

‘Tis the season to spend quality time enjoying fun winter activities with the ones you love. This year, pick some activities that aren't as tough on your wallet but will still provide those sweet holiday memories. Rather than spending money on special attractions and extravagant trips, try activities like sledding, driving to see Christmas lights, or baking holiday goodies at home.

Watch Out for Sneaky Sales

There's nothing better than seeing a big red “On Sale” sign by the perfect gift. Double check what you’re paying, though, because sometimes the sales can be too good to be true. Many stores don’t actually discount the item, but rather stick a sign on it to entice customers into thinking it’s a great deal. Even if you find something for a great price, make sure it’s in your budget before swiping the card.

Revamp the Family Gatherings

Saving money will make the whole family happy, so incorporating new traditions like Secret Santa or potlucks can save everyone big bucks. Rather than going to a nice restaurant, do a potluck-style meal and everyone can bring their favorite dish. Buying each extended family member a gift can add up, so trying out Secret Santa can be fun and much cheaper.

Giving into the holiday deals and going overboard on spending is hard to avoid this time of year, but having a plan helps tremendously. Sticking to your budget and being smart about your spending is the best way to avoid the dreaded post-holiday regret. To open a savings account or learn more about ways to manage your money, contact American First Credit Union today. Happy holidays!

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