Saving the Green During the Holiday Shopping Frenzy

Author: Shannon Miller

The holidays are here, which means the mad retail rush is here as well.

And if there is anytime that families need to be cautious about how much money they’re spending on retail therapy, it’s now!  The good news is that there are plenty of useful tactics that can be used to save money around the holidays.

Check out the tips listed below:*

  • Decide how much you can spend this holiday season and stick to it! Make sure you include all of your holiday-related expenses; this doesn’t just include gifts.  Consider the following: decorations for your home, postage for holiday cards, holiday party favors, food for when you have friends and family over, stocking stuffers, and other items that you might easily forget to include in your holiday budget.
  • Be cautious with credit. If you are going to be using credit to pay for things this holiday season, think of these purchases as short-term loans.  Make a valiant attempt to pay off your “loans” as soon as possible.  Also, if you have more than one credit card, try using the one with the lowest interest rate.
  • Don’t wait until last minute. Try to be timely with your holiday purchases, particularly concerning gift buying.  This way, you’re less likely to face skyrocketed prices.  Try to manage your time, so that you aren’t out shopping on Christmas Eve.
  • It’s the thought that counts. If you want to give someone a gift, but don’t have much money to put towards it, be creative!  If you’re baking cookies for your own family, make an extra batch for that special friend that you’re thinking of this holiday season.  Or offer to do someone a favor that would mean a great deal to them, like taking their kids off their hands for a night.  Remember, money isn’t always a necessity when it comes to gift-giving. Time is a precious gift that many people will appreciate.
  • Send e-cards. Modern technology is a great thing!  Instead of sending holiday cards by mail this year, save money by sending e-cards.  They’re free and don’t require postage.  Some even play music!
TIP:  Instead of letting money put a damper on this holiday season, keep the holiday spirit alive by being strategic with your spending!
*Dratch, Dana“18 Ways to Save Money During the Holidays”,  Bankrate,1 Dec 2010 
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