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Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Diane Hoffmaster
You're thinking 'It's still summer, who wants to think about Christmas bills'... right? Well, I am already seeing ads for high tech holiday gifts and those aren't cheap! Want to skip the holiday gift giving DEBT this year? You need to start pinching your pennies and searching for a few holiday budget tips. There are plenty of ways that you can save money and MAKE money in the next 3 months before you start your Black Friday shopping adventures. Keep reading for a few simple ways to save money on holiday bills so you start the new year with fewer financial woes!
The holidays are fast approaching and with them comes a serious amount of shopping. Gifts for friends and family members, holiday baking supplies, wrapping paper and pretty clothes for Christmas Eve church service are all on my list of things to buy this year. I will be shelling out an awful lot of money over the coming months to get ready for Christmas and have started looking for some holiday budget tips to help keep my spending under control. Of course, you can only cut so many corners when it comes to spending. I will get to those in a second.
But, have you considered trying to make EXTRA money in the coming months? These holiday budget tips will be a lot easier to implement if you don't have to stretch your dollars quite as far!
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Side Hustles You Can Use to Make Money
Earning extra money in the coming months IS possible if you start now. A few extra dollars will come in handy for those last minute holiday gifts that you totally didn't budget for. Here are a few side hustles that can help you earn a little bit of extra holiday shopping money:
- Sell On Amazon or eBay: Books, CDs, DVDs and a whole assortment of other items can be sold for cash online. Declutter your house and make some extra money.
- Sell Yourself On Fiverr: Okay, don't really sell YOURSELF. But, if you have a marketable skill, check out Fiverr and see if someone is willing to pay for it.
- Sell Crafts On Etsy: Are you craftsy? Sell your creations on Etsy or hit up your local church craft sale. Market your homemade gifts as personal and supporting a local business!
- eBook Publishing: Think you have a story to tell? Consider publishing an eBook!
- Sell Stock Photos: If photography is your thing, how about selling them for money?
- Become An Uber or Lyft Driver: You can get paid to drive if you have a decent driving record!
- Sell your old phones: Have old phones lying around? Trade in your old devices for cash! If you have technology like cell phones or tablets that you don't need, do some research and find out how to trade them in for cash or credit off a new device.
Best Holiday Budget Tips
Creating a holiday budget is easy. The hard part is sticking to it. If you are anything like me, you have trouble staying within a budget, even if you REALLY mean to. I love baking and gift-giving and pretty clothes so reigning in my spending isn't always easy. Hopefully, these holiday budget tips will help you and I BOTH stay on target.
Consider Second Hand Gifts:
I seriously don't understand why second hand gifting is considered a sketchy gift giving technique. Discuss this with your gift recipients first, of course, but holiday budgeting is tough and second hand books are just as good as the real thing!
Talk to family members about gift giving traditions.
Maybe you want to begin a 'presents only for the kids' tradition and save all the grownups a whole bunch of money! Maybe if you have a lot of siblings you can draw names and only shop for one or two of them.
Make a list.
One of the best holiday budget tips is to make a list and stick to it. It's easy to go hog wild with the shopping if you don't have written lists to follow. Write down what you plan on getting for each person and check it off as each item is purchased.
Shop with cash or a debit card.
If you have trouble paying off your credit card every month, consider leaving it at home and using cash or your debit card instead. And skip all those store credit cards. You might get a coupon or discount but it is much too tempting to overspend when you have 10 different credit cards!
Track your spending:
Consider starting a budget in a program like Excel to keep track of exactly how much you have spent. If you have a $25 limit on each person it really helps to see the numbers in front of you in a spreadsheet.
Know Your Budget:
It's important to set a per person budget and stick to it. If you set the limit at $20 and something catches your eye that is $25, keep on looking. If you spend $5 more on every person, eventually you have blown your budget completely.
Shop ahead of time:
Waiting for the last minute is a sure fire way to spend full price. I HATE spending full price! Keep that list pinned up somewhere you will see it every day and watch for sales of items that you have on it. This goes for food, too. You can freeze cranberries and dried stuffing is good for a long time so stock up when they are cheap. And do your research when it comes to price. Check out several places online to find the best price.
Skip the great deal if you don't need the item:
Just because something is a great deal, doesn't mean you need to buy it. If something isn't on your holiday list, don't buy it just because it is on sale. Avoid impulse shopping to really save money on holiday shopping.
Remember the reason for the season:
This is not a religious statement. You can take this however you wish, however, the real reason for the holiday season is spending quality time with friends and family. Being thankful for the things we have, not filling our homes with as much stuff as we can possibly buy. Trim down your expectations when it comes to gifts and spend more time focusing on the things that matter most. Teach kids to give back this holiday and not just how to open expensive gifts.
Have any other holiday budget tips to share?
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.