We all know how expensive the holidays can be. Between gift giving, holiday outfits, charitable causes and all that holiday feasting, it adds up quickly. Luckily, there is enough time to start saving those pennies before the holiday season is officially upon us. Here are a few of our tried-and-true tips that will help you keep your bank account happy and your holiday spirits high.
Cut back on the “treat yo’ self”
I know, it’s hard, but a couple months before the holidays, it’s best to cut back on monthly habits. Try skipping manicures and paint your nails at home. Instead of big happy hours, invite your girls over for wine night. Make your coffee and meal prep lunches at home instead of hitting the café each day. Generally, a gel manicure costs $30 plus tip. If you get two of those a month, you can save $120 from now until the holidays. That’s the price of a really nice present for anyone on your list! Get creative, and pull back on those extras just until the new year.
Do your homework
The best way to plan financially for the holidays is to get a head start. I keep a Pinterest board year-round that I pin Christmas ideas to whenever I come across them. This way, I’m not scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out what to buy and can take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. If you already know everything on your list, you can have a good bird’s eye view of the budget you need to set in place. Keep a running list throughout the year, and at the end of November, you can map out where the best deals are going to be.
Use a savings app
There are a number of apps that will help you add a bit of savings on the side. Here are a few that might be helpful, depending on your spending style:
- Trim: This is a pretty straightforward savings app. You designate a certain amount that you want automatically deducted once a month or more. It also analyzes your subscriptions and recommends where you can trim your spending. It’ll even negotiate your internet or cable bill for you.
- Tip Yourself: Went to the gym today? Crushed that presentation at work? Tip yourself! It’s basically like having a tip jar on your own counter. It’s not an automated app, but it’s geared toward positivity, which is always a good thing to invest in before the crazy holiday season.
- Digit: This is a handy automatic app that analyzes your spending and deducts reasonable amounts each week. It only deducts what the app analyzes you can afford, and always protects from overdraft fees.
Use the envelope system
Cash is king, and it’s much easier to keep track of it when you can physically touch it. Set up the envelope system if you’re someone who likes a tangible saving method. It’s simple. Create your budget categories, figure out your budget amount and keep track of the balance on the front of the envelope. When you’re out of cash, you’re out of cash! It helps you stay on track with your budget and not overspend.
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