3 Tips for Savvy Holiday Spending
|It will probably be no surprise to hear that the holidays can be a very stressful time of year. In fact, a survey from 2015 found that:
"Sixty-two percent of respondents described their stress level as 'very or somewhat' elevated during the holidays, while only 10 percent reported no stress during the season."
From this study, one of the top three reasons given for this elevation in stress levels around the holidays was from the financial obligations. These expectations include purchasing gifts, traveling, entertaining, holiday decorating and more.
Finances can be stressful at the best of times, so having some tips for savvy holiday spending might help to lower stress and increase the chances of being able to relax with loved ones this holiday season.
Read on to explore how creating a budget, finding extra spending money, and considering alternative ways of giving can help to lower your stress this holiday season so that you can enjoy what really matters to you.
3 Tips for Savvy Holiday Spending
Whitney Hansen, a personal finance coach, blogger and host of The Money Nerds Podcast shares her recommendations:
The biggest piece of advice I can give people during the holidays is set the expectation now. Tell people you are on a strict budget that you aren't able to give expensive gifts, but instead you would love to spend some quality time with them. Setting the expectation early does two things:
1) Reduces the amount of shame or guilt we feel around gifts
2) Helps you prioritize your financial goals
There's nothing worse than overspending, feeling guilty, and carrying additional credit card debt into the new year because you didn't clearly communicate your situation.
Holiday shopping can really put a dent in your wallet, but with careful planning and looking for deals and savings on items, you can emerge from the holiday season without sinking into a lot of debt. Check out https://www.raise.com/coupons/kohls to help reduce your spending this holiday season. Each time you shop, keep track of your purchases with this easy-to-use (and free) budgeting option is through the holiday shopping budget offered by Microsoft - it's free to download or you can use it online with Excel. I really like this option because you can share the link with others who can join in and edit the budget at the same time.
2. Find Extra Spending Money
Side hustle may be a buzz word you have heard lately, but what does it actually mean? In a nutshell, it means to supplement your income with other jobs or task that are separate from your main source or 'day job'. A side hustle can take many forms from babysitting, to becoming a part-time virtual assistant, or even filling out surveys while you watch your evening drama on Chromecast.
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Regardless of the type of job or task, as long as your side hustle(s) are expanding or saving your income and don't come with a liability (eg. a pay to join service), having this extra income in your pocket or bank account can greatly decrease stress over the holidays. Even making an extra $50 a month can go towards your holiday budget and can reduce the strain on your stress levels.
Some ideas to get your side hustle on include:
Already have a side hustle (or several) helping out your finances? Feel free to share in the comments section below so others can consider trying it out!
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11/10/2018 09:48:01 am
I was hoping my side hustle would lead to a none stress Christmas this year but just landed me more in debt, better luck to everyone else. Starting a website is fun but hard.
11/10/2018 09:57:42 am
I'm sorry to hear that, Miranda! There can definitely be a lot of cost to blogging, but it also might be a great time to review your blogging budget and see if you can reduce any fees. I keep a spreadsheet of the services I pay for and cancel any that are not serving my business over time. Best of luck!
11/10/2018 12:38:07 pm
These are wonderful suggestions Heather! It's unfortunate, but there really is a lot of financial stress around the Holidays. I think it's so important to remember that the people who care about you don't want you to be in that position and any gift, even a thoughtful note, is great. These tips, especially creating a budget, are such great suggestions! Thank you for sharing ♡
11/11/2018 10:58:59 am
That is a great suggestion to write a thoughtful note or even to make your own holiday cards! I think that is a very personal way of showing someone in your life how much you care.
11/10/2018 03:26:55 pm
These are great tips, and Christmas can be so expensive for families! We try to spend it across the year instead of in one bulk time, too! It helps!
11/11/2018 11:00:12 am
Fantastic advice! I was just reading a post from Dave Ramsey who suggested to put money in an envelope each week throughout the year so that you could have spending money for the holidays at the end of the year.
11/11/2018 11:01:18 am
I'm glad to hear that your blog has been helping! It can for sure be a lot of work and energy to create a blog, but the pay off can be wonderful.
11/11/2018 11:03:07 am
That will be quite a big change for you, Shirley. I hope some of these tips will be helpful for you at adjusting your spending habits. Best of luck!
11/11/2018 09:38:28 am
I'm the worst at blowing the budget every year. I like shopping way too much.
11/11/2018 11:03:51 am
It can be so easy to spend over budget, especially if you enjoy getting out and shopping. Hopefully some of these tips help you stay on track!
11/12/2018 05:01:47 am
Holiday shopping is one of the most stressful things for me. I hate going to the store, I don't want to spend $100 on every person, but I want to give! Amazon it is!
11/12/2018 12:23:49 pm
It's so true that online shopping can make life so much easier! I would recommend saving your selections and waiting a day to purchase so you can have time to check in with your budget and make sure it fits. Happy holidays, Meg!
11/18/2018 11:18:03 am
I'm glad you enjoyed these suggestions!
11/18/2018 11:18:34 am
My thoughts exactly! Thanks for stopping by the blog, Jamie.
12/1/2018 06:32:22 pm
Yes! It's a lot of fun to do Secret Santa, too. There are other 'rules' you can apply like being able to trade gifts. I hope it's a big hit with your family!
Great options Heather. The fourth one is my favourite. Not being into the whole, 'give a dinner party' thing, anything that makes it easier seems a great idea to me. Spreading out the work load with a potluck, also means that I'd get to spend more time socializing instead of overseeing a massive dinner endeavour. Thanks for the ideas.
12/1/2018 06:13:29 pm
Yes, I totally agree, Debrah! I love potlucks.. you get to try out interesting dishes and there are less 'host' duties so everyone gets to enjoy the meal. Glad you enjoyed these ideas. Happy Holidays!
11/15/2018 05:26:52 am
I love this list! I always make a budget because I'd go crazy (with no money ) with presents! lol And as a side hustle, that's not really a side hustle, I use a few store/grocery store apps that will give you money back. In a year, without being consistent, I've made maybe $100. And, of course, giving is so important during the holidays - really can help remind you what the season is about.
12/1/2018 06:14:36 pm
Great to hear that you stick to a budget and use apps to help you earn cash back.. it can really help! Thanks for sharing, Cassie. Happy Holidays!
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