6 Ways To Save This Holiday Season | Refresh Financial
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6 Ways To Save This Holiday Season

holiday-season

Holiday season has unofficially begun! All your favourite stores are probably all decked out in Christmas gear, and everything smells like pine and cinnamon. For those of us struggling with debt and our personal finances, when this time of year rears its ugly head, we cringe. We know the hit our wallet is going to take, and all the happy family get togethers in the world won’t get rid of the stress that produces.

There are ways you can save on the holidays, though, and I’m going to give you six of them:

1. Plan ahead

Set yourself a budget for the holidays. Make it an amount you can live with. Decide beforehand what you’re going to buy for everyone, and what you’re going to serve for dinner if you’re hosting it. Stick to your plan. Don’t let yourself get upsold at stores, and only change your mind about something if it’s going to save you money. Sometimes people have trouble sticking to a budget, but most of the time that’s because no real budget was laid out, or it wasn’t a realistic one. Plan ahead using your ability to reason and then stick to that plan, and you won’t overspend.

2. Use points

Anywhere you have points saved up, use them. Use your PC points to buy your Christmas dinner at Real Canadian Superstore, or your Petro Points to fill up on gas if you have to drive to see family. Use your HBC rewards points to buy gifts as well as Air Miles rewards, Shopper’s Drug Mart Optimum points and more. If you collect diligently all year ‘round, you could even have enough to make the holidays nearly free!

3. Thrift stores

For decorations, holiday outfits and even gifts, thrift stores can be your source for everything to do with the holidays. You’re going to pay pennies for things that are normally quite expensive brand new. You’ll probably have to spend a lot of time on it because, let’s face it, thrift stores are 99% junk, but every thrift store has a brilliant find just waiting for you if you put the time in.

4. Get handy

Making gifts is not nearly as cringey as some people would have you believe. There are things you can make that induce zero cringe at all, and will likely mean more to those you’re giving it to than a store-bought gift. If you’re good with power tools, you can build something each of your family members would love: spice racks, bookcases, side tables. Upcycle some palette wood and you won’t be spending on materials either. If you paint, paint something personal for each member of your family. If you sew, knit, or crochet, maybe give some handmade articles of clothing, or gloves, scarves and hats. If you love to cook, how about some homemade jams and jellies, or maybe even pickles? Perhaps a nice mason jar filled with vanilla sugar you made yourself with just sugar and a vanilla bean? There are a ton of gift ideas that you can make that are so not cringe worthy at all, and might even be the most awe-inspiring gift under the tree!

5. Keep track of what you spend

It’s one thing to plan beforehand. It’s another to monitor your adherence to said plan. Every day you spend during the holidays, make sure you sit down and look at where you are with your budget and how well you’re sticking to it. Seeing it all visually before you makes it a lot more real, and a lot easier to follow than if you ignore what your accounts say.

6. Potluck!

Instead of serving the entire dinner at your home, have everyone bring a dish or an ingredient and have a potluck dinner. You’re going to save on the majority of your food this holiday season if you decide to have potluck dinners instead of serving it all up yourself. Plus, that means less time in the kitchen for you, and more time spent with family and friends. Isn’t that really what the holiday are about, anyway?

 

Holidays don’t have to be expensive. With a little thought and planning ahead, you can get through this time of year relatively unscathed. Your wallet will definitely thank you!

What do you do to save money during the holidays? Let us know in the comments!

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