The holidays should be the happiest time of the year, but the flurry of excitement and holiday gift buying can make anyone feel overwhelmed and stressed out. With a comprehensive plan, spreading cheer and saving money can be one and the same. It’s never too early to start thinking about ways you can save money this holiday season!
1. Set a Firm Budget
If you’re trying to cut back on holiday spending or if finances are tight, a budget for each gift, trip or meal can help. Even small costs like wrapping paper, gift bags and cards can add up, so track your expenses in a spreadsheet or word document to make sure you’re adhering to your budget.
2. Make a List, Check it Twice and Stick to it!
Keeping track of everyone in your life you want to show your thankfulness and gratitude for can be a struggle in itself. Take time and make a list of the people (and pets) that you’re buying gifts for during the holidays to help avoid the distractions of holiday shopping!
3. Start Shopping Early
Don’t wait until the last week, there are good deals happening all the time. Whether it’s in-store or online, there are many stores and retailers that offer deals even before the holidays start. Set time aside during the week or on the weekends to browse online or local ads for all the best deals.
4. Gifts from the Heart are Priceless
Sometimes it’s not gifts you buy that mean the most to a loved one. A heartfelt thank you, a dinner out on the town, or a handwritten card can mean the world to someone. The holidays are about showing your loved ones how much you care, and most times something from the heart says it best.
5. Find Money-Saving Apps to Compare Prices
These days there are a handful of retailers that have the perfect gift. Whether it’s local businesses or online stores, make sure that you’re doing your homework and looking for the best deal. There are even tools and apps out there to help you find the best deal.
6. Ship Gifts Ahead of Time
If you’re traveling for the holidays, be sure to ship any gifts ahead of time. Shipping gifts bought online or bought locally before the big day will save a ton of headache and heartache if something goes missing. Be prepared, and ship those gifts early to avoid the holiday rush!
7. Take Advantage of Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the largest shopping days of the year. Even if you’re not waiting for doorbusters, you can still get in on some of the best deals. If you’re doing your homework and tracking sales, you can capitalize on steals in-store and digital deals to start the holiday shopping season right.
8. Pick-up Non-Traditional Items at Extra Savings
Even though most of the deals during the holidays are focused on electronics and toys, now is the perfect time to pick up deals on other life-saving items. Deals on pet insurance, prescription savings, or even vision and dental plans can save you a bundle in the long run.
9. Use Those Gift Cards
Sometimes, giving a gift is its own reward. So unused or leftover gift cards are the perfect way to give your loved ones amazing gifts while still saving money. Cashing in reward points at your favorite retailer or through your bank can also be a great way to give a boost to your holiday budget.
10. Host a Potluck Dinner with Friends and Family
Putting together a holiday dinner for all your friends and family can cost a lot if you’ve got a large gathering planned. Talk with your friends and family about throwing a holiday pot-luck so each member can share in the joy of preparing and providing food for the gathering.
11. Cut Back on Holiday Decorating
While decorating for the holidays can get you in the spirit, there are ways to save. Limit decorating to a few of your house or apartment hotspots where friends and family gather will bring all the merry and cheer of the holidays while still saving some money.
12. Remember Why We Celebrate the Holiday Season
Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, the true meaning of the holidays is about bringing together your loved ones and celebrating the joy and happiness of each other’s company. Giving thanks and showing your gratitude for what you have, and who is in your life can make the holidays special for any friend or family member.
Saving money during the holidays is possible whether budgets are tight, or you’re trying to cut back. With NCA, you’ll find exclusive deals on a variety of products and services that will help you take the stress out of the holidays. After all, celebrating the holidays is about celebrating what you’re thankful for, being grateful for the people, pets and things you have in your life and making memories that will last for years.