4 Things We Spend Way Too Much On Over The Holidays + How To Fix It

There’s no denying that the holiday season is a pricey one. Even with gifts alone, it usually ends up being the most expensive month of the year for most people. But we don’t want to have a lame holiday season, right? The good news is you don’t have to spend money to have a good time. We’re sharing all the things that people commonly overspend on during the most magical time of the year, and what you can do to curb those hefty costs.

Gift Wrapping

I hate to be the one to burst the bubble here, but gift wrap is a sham. It’s literally something you buy just to put back in the trash. In fact, Americans spend more than $7 billion on gift wrap each year. Aside from the fact that is a ridiculous amount of money to be spending on something we’re just going to discard, it’s also wasteful. This year, try going for used or reusable gift wrap. Wrap your gifts in newspaper that you’ve painted and add a sprig of pine. Or take a trip to the fabric store to find some gauzy cloth that you can wrap your presents up in year after year.

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Expensive Family Traditions

You don’t have to take an extravagant trip or pay for over-the-top holiday experiences. Look for local and free holiday activities in your town. Grab some hot chocolate and go for a walk to look at Christmas lights. Have a family Christmas cookie baking day and watch all your favorite holiday movies on repeat. Just get creative! The point is to be together and make memories, not see who can post the most extravagant holiday activity on Instagram.

Trendy Décor

Besides the fact that we keep this particular stash of décor packed away in the garage for 11 out of 12 months, we often tend to buy more each time the holidays roll around. Sure, this year the trend might be Scandinavian-inspired décor, but what will be in style next year? Instead of wasting money on holiday décor you probably won’t even like 365 days from now, make your holiday decorating a DIY tradition. String cranberries for the tree, make your own wreaths out of evergreen clippings or use eucalyptus garlands for your mantle. Citrus chains are also a really fun DIY idea that will look beautiful and festive and will cost a couple bucks to make.

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Have you ever looked at your electric bill after the holidays? Woof. All of those lights on the outside and inside of your house can add up quickly, especially if you leave them on overnight. Opt for energy-saving Christmas lights and an automatic timer so that you can easily control when and how much they are on. Also, rather than overloading your interior with twinkle lights, candles make for a much more eco- and budget-friendly option. Grab a whole bunch of tea lights for a really magical experience indoors.

You don’t have to be a Scrooge to save money this holiday season. You’ll be surprised how much you don’t even miss the excessive holiday clutter and crap.

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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram