During the holiday season, we spend a lot of time looking for ways to spend money. We spend money on holiday gifts, family dinners, company galas and holiday décor. We give to charities by donating toys, volunteering and fund-raising. We tip to service providers who have worked so hard for us throughout the year. Rarely do we think of ways to save money during this Season of Giving.
There are multiple ways to insert a little savings into your holiday plans:
- Create a Holiday Budget – Take the time to create a holiday budget. Estimate the costs of what you’re going to spend on holiday gifts, parties, charities and decorations. Make sure to create a little breathing room by adding a savings column to your budget.
- Shop for Savings – Retailers are offering great deals this holiday season. If you shop smart, you can get everything on your shopping list and have some money left over. Instead of putting your extra savings back into your shopping activities, funnel it towards your savings. Make sure to stick your list, avoid impulse buying and cut down on the little extras.
- Pay with Cash or Debit – Whenever possible, make sure to pay with cash or debit card. You might not see the savings right away, but you’ll be saving yourself from future interest payment from credit card companies.
- Give Back to Yourself First – It’s important to support charities during the holiday season, but make sure that you’re also giving back to yourself. Select a few charities that are important to you and donate your time, money and efforts to where it will do the most good. The worst thing you can do is stretch yourself thin by giving too much.
- Save Your Holiday Bonus – If you’re one of the lucky ones to get a holiday bonus this year, make sure to tuck it away into an emergency fund or savings account, rather than adding it to your shopping budget. With the economy still on recovery, you want to make sure that you’re prepared for anything that comes your way in the New Year.
- Turn a Gift into College Savings – If you have relatives that send cash or checks to your kids during the holidays, consider taking some of that money and putting away into a college savings fund. Your kids will be getting plenty of gifts this year, and one more gift isn’t going to make or break your holiday. As time goes on, those little deposits can turn into big savings once they’re grown and ready to go to college.
Don’t wait to till the New Year to start thinking of a savings resolution. Make an effort now, during the holidays, to save for your future. After all, peace of mind is the greatest holiday gift that you can give yourself and your family this year.
About the Author:
Kathryn Katz is a working mom, internet marketer and professional copywriter. Kathryn is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor and works for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services. The non-profit credit counseling agency offers the Smart Holiday Shopping Guide to help holiday shoppers.