Merry Christmas, blog readers!
This year has been a fantastic year for financial planning and savings. And now as we reach the end of it, there's a final challenge for all of us -- surviving the Christmas holiday with our finances intact! Learn how to save money for Christmas with our shopping tips.
1. Stick to Your Holiday Budget
Careful budget planning for the holiday season as a whole is a wise step for financial security that lasts into the New Year. If you want Christmas Day to pass by with you still in one piece financially, your best bet is to budget. You can buy cheap gifts for family that are still heartfelt, appreciative and useful.
It's hard to argue with the notion that you should always plan before you spend. And even if your current budget won't look pretty after you get through the Christmas holiday, you'll be far better off if you knew about it ahead of time.
2. Plan Ahead With Relatives and Friends
If you have a whole slew of family and friends coming to meet you at your home in Waco, Texas -- or if you're one of those travelers that'll be heading there to the family hub -- it's best to plan ahead.
Try and find out what everyone will shoot for when it comes to gift-giving and food-preparing. If everyone has agreed to stay particularly low-key on gifts, it'll be great to know that ahead of time so you don't show up with high-priced gifts while everyone else made theirs themselves on the cheap. And if one or more family members or friends has agreed to supply the bulk of the food, you'll know it's not necessary to show up with a full holiday spread.
3. Don't Buy Into Sales
This year like all others, the sales will be plentiful. Every store you go to will advertise in huge lettering their Christmas blowout sales that can save you money on some of the best gifts out there.
Before you go unloading your wallet on these blowouts, stop to compare the so-called sales prices to their previous prices. If the difference is negligible, you're really just being convinced to buy something you otherwise wouldn't have because of the promise of a great deal.
4. Give Personal Gifts, Not Expensive Ones
Instead of going out to a big box store in Texas or Oklahoma and looking for an expensive gift for each member of your family, spend some time thinking about what they could really use and enjoy.
Sure, everybody loves a big flashy gift. But if you give something that shows you know a person on a deeper level, they'll get more out of it and it will be that much more meaningful to them.
5. Plan a Christmas Gift Exchange
To encourage family Christmas gifts on a budget, institute a gift exchange this year instead of getting a present for every member of the family. Have adults all put their names in a hat, and everyone draws one person. Instead of buying multiple small gifts, you buy one nice present, and you still spend much less than you would if you purchased something for everyone.
There are other benefits to gift exchanges besides going Christmas shopping on a budget. This also cuts down on the amount of time you spend shopping and allows you to enjoy more quality time with your family. The change may be welcome for those who feel the holidays are too harried.
6. Have Everyone Give to Charity
Instead of purchasing elaborate gifts, why not use that money to make a difference? Giving donations to charity instead of buying presents will make everyone feel proud and bring greater appreciation to the holiday. Find a charity everyone can agree on, and set a flat donation rate per person. You will probably spend less than you would on cheap Christmas gifts for your whole family, too.
7. Skip the Impulse Buys
How many times have you gone to the store planning to buy one thing and come home with five more? It's easy to blow money at Christmas when you make impulse buys of items that are not on your list. Before you go shopping, remind yourself of your pledge, and don't buy anything for yourself. Better yet, don't buy anything that's not on your list.
If you see something you like, you can always ask for it for Christmas yourself! Many people struggle to name items when someone asks them what they want, so instead of making an impulse buy, write that item down on your list.
8. Make Christmas Dinner Simple
Holiday spending isn't just about the presents. You also have to buy food for the big meal, so be sure to incorporate that into your Christmas saving plan. Keep it as inexpensive as possible by staying with the basics. For example, don't make three casserole side dishes when you only need one. Or make a meatless meal to keep costs of ingredients down.
9. Enjoy the Christmas Spirit!
Instead of buying into the consumerism of Christmas, treat it more the way it's meant to be treated: as a day of togetherness, warmth, and fun with friends and family. Not only will you get more out of it personally, but you'll spend less overall and be able to afford the things that really matter later on.
Christmastime can be severely stressful, especially if you're worried about your bank account. But if you arrange things in such a way that reduces your overall stress and increases your maximum enjoyment potential, you might even have a return to the days when Christmas was easy and fun. Remember those? With our easy tips for saving on Christmas spending, it may feel that way again.
And if you aren't sure how you'll make it through Christmas this year, come on down to your nearest Atlas Credit location today! We have offices across Oklahoma and Texas, and we'll get you a quick and easy personal loan in no time that'll help you afford the gifts, food, and other necessities you need to make this holiday season a huge success! Contact Atlas Credit to learn more or apply for your personal loan online today!