The leaves have fallen off the trees, and we’ve already seen the first few flakes of snow. This can only mean that the holiday season is slowly creeping up and it will be here before you know it! Christmas is only 42 days away, but who’s counting? (THIS GIRL, RIGHT HERE!!) If your holiday season is anything like mine, you’ll be feeling the wallet pinch. Don’t worry here are some of my tips that I’ve mastered to stay on track!
First set a budget on how much you want to spend in total, then make a list of events, parties and get togethers. Now expand the budget by 20% to cover the events and add another 15% for clothing, hair appointments, makeup and anything you’ll be doing to keep up your appearance. Second step is to make a list of each event, person (or couple) and expenses as you allocate how much you want to spend on each person on your list and events coming up.
Do your research
Let’s get organized! Make your list for gifts, get quotes from your hair dresser or meal planning for a dinner. Try to google search coupons or promo codes, sign up to your favourite retailers to be alerted for flash sales (or follow bloggers like myself, who get the early scoop of sales!) and compare prices from different retailers.
Ways to save money and spend less
Look for unique ways to save some money and spend less on certain items is easy! If you have a friend who’s great at dying hair, ask her to help you. If you’re hosting a Christmas dinner, try a potluck style. Use coupon codes, sale apps, google search or price match to get the same item for a lower cost. Try cutting down where you can, like making your own coffee, having a movie night at your place instead of going out, or buying the no name brands. Raise extra money by cleaning out your closet or household items to sell on Ebay, Kijij, or have a garage sale.
If you have a big group of friends, family or co-workers you can host a Secret Santa. Instead of buying gifts, create memories by doing an activity like ice skating, visiting Christmas Markets or going to a hockey game. Adventures are more memorable and create bonding experiences.
Here is my favourite, volunteer in the community by getting involved with a local charity, soup kitchen, food bank, toy drive or hosting your way to give back. Helping those who don’t have much, and putting faith back in humanity will give you that warm fuzzy feeling. Call your local church, favourite charity or Salvation Army and find out how to get involved. If you’re unable to volunteer, consider donating, purchasing a meal for a homeless individual or finding way to get your local businesses involved in fundraising.
Make your gifts, instead of purchasing them is also a great way to save money. Paint pictures, make a photo album, bake Christmas goods, knit hats or write a letter. If you’re handy in the shop, make a table or cutting board for someone is always a great surprise. One year I received a coupon book from my bother for making tea, cooking and not talking during an entire episode of the Kardashians (HA!). It was the meaningful gift I’ve ever received!
Making extra money
If you feel like you’ve done everything possible to save, but you still need some extra cash, try side jobs. If you have the time, find a second job serving, working at a grocery store, stalking product or anything that can be done a few times a week. If you can provide a service, like make-up application, baking, clean houses or babysitting get busy. If you have your own car, you can sign up with Uber or a delivery service app. Sell items you don’t use anymore, or bargain shop to resell for a profit. If you have neighbours and live in a snowy climate, shovel driveways for extra cash. Making the extra income does require you to work for it, but don’t overwork yourself!!
It’s the thought that counts
The most important takeaway from the holiday season is that you spend time with your loved ones. It’s not always about what you’re wearing, how Pinterest inspired your home decor is and how much you’ve spend on gifts. The time and effort that you’ve put into the season, making memories and creating experiences is what counts! Just be kind to yourself and others, and have fun with it!
I hope you enjoyed this little guide on starting your holiday shopping, stay tuned for more holiday guides including my Black Friday sales guide! Make sure you sign up to our email list so you don’t miss anything! If you have any tips of your own or holiday guides connect with our blog and readers in the comments below!!
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