The festive season is around the corner and it is time to buy gifts for your family and friends. But wait, are you worried that you will be spending too much and not save money for the festive season?
Festivities like all other celebrations come with a price. Yes, there is the thrill, excitement, and happiness but we financially spend a lot. Christmas is the biggest holiday, shoppers spend across over $1 trillion in the United States and over £2 billion in the UK. According to the National Retail Federation, an average American individual spends around $700 dollars on holiday gifts and decorations every year.
Diwali (the Indian festivals of lights) is the biggest festival celebrated in Indian households with an expenditure of approximately $250 billion every year. Money is spent on buying new items for the house, festive clothing, decorations, lights sweets, gifts for family and friends. A lot of effort, time and money go into buying gifts.
Massive discounts, online offers, big sales leave the shopper spoilt for choice. So how to save money for the festive season? Have you planned your budget for the festive season?
7 Tips to Save Money for the Festive Season
1. Plan a Smart Budget
Creating a holiday budget is very crucial during the festive season. Why so? Because this will control your urge to buy items you do not really need.
- Firstly, it is important to decide on a budget for your gift list. Then, make a list of what you need to buy for your close relatives and friends and try allocating a specific amount to each person on the gift list. This will give you an idea of how much money you will be spending at the end of all your shopping.
- Do not just think of a random number but create a budget keeping in mind the little things such as travel expenses, sweets, parties, donations, and last-minute purchases. Think clearly of all the things you need and not want to be able to save money during the festive season.
It is very important that you plan your finances and track things wisely so that you don’t get into a debt trap post the festive season.
2. Cut back on your Extras
Just before the festival season, start cutting back on spending extras on things you do not really need. Such as eating dinner out very often, shopping online, spending on your travels and others. Thus, keep a saving jar or envelop or account to save a little money every week from your paycheck to save money during the festive season.
Also, keep a little extra cash or savings on the side for emergency expenses and stick to your shopping list to avoid impulse shopping and save money during the festival season. This will avoid any kind of debt on your credit card post-festive season.
3. Save on Gifting
Buying gifts can be extremely expensive and confusing. It is hard to decide what to for each one in your circle, especially if you have a big circle of family, friends, and colleagues. Here are some ways you can save money during the festive season on gifts without upsetting anyone.
i) DIY Gifts – Do It Yourself
A gift made by you will always hold more value and has an emotional and personal touch to it. No amount of money will compete with this and you will save a hell lot of money.
DIY gifts such as handmade candles for Diwali and Christmas is perfect. You can add in any color or scent or just decorate it the way you would like. DIY gifts have more feelings attached than the gifts bought from the store. You can make some sweets wrapped in a pretty box or bake Christmas cookies for gifting purposes. Write a personal card for each person with a heartfelt festive wish. This way you can save money during the festive season.
ii) Alternatives to Gifts
To save money during the festival season, instead of gifting individually, you can treat your family and friends to dinner or plan an outing they would enjoy. This way you will not only save money but you will spend quality time with your loved ones.
4. Use Pre-Holiday Sales and Discounts
Keep your eyes open for discounts, sales both online and offline giving you the best of deals. Take advantage of this, and splurge wisely on your gifts through these offers. Many times the best offers are during clearance sales in malls and online at the end of a season. The very known ‘Black Friday’ sale is when most people do all their festive shopping. So, grab you’re your shopping bags and there is no harm in buying gifts way before the festive season. This way you will save money during the festive season and stick to your budget.
5. No Credit Cards for the Festive Season
Credit cards can be helpful during a financial crunch but spending during the festival season can be a bad idea. You might spend beyond your card limit. Credit cards are an alternative when you do not have enough money but this what you need to avoid. This is where a planned holiday budget will help you track your spending and save money during the festive season.
6. Follow Simple Traditions to Save Money
Traditions make the holiday season special but can be a financial burden too. Christmas includes buying a tree, special decorations, surprising your kids with extravagant gifts. The same is with Diwali, you end up spending on lighting the entire house, fireworks, buying boxes of sweets.
However, traditions are important since they hold value to the entire festival but it is not necessary that they need to be expensive. In fact, many activities and traditions are inexpensive, or even free. Make cheaper traditions and activities part of your festivities and celebrations to save money during the festive season.
Here are some save smart traditions or activities you can practice:
- Watch a Christmas movie at home whilst drinking hot chocolate
- Make home-made scented candles to light at home
- Bake some cookies and sweets with your family and friends
- Make Festive Cards with your kids
- Walk around the neighbourhood to watch the Christmas lights
- Light the house with tea-light candles and flowers
- Visit a Santa at your nearby mall
- Read your favourite Christmas stories
- Watch a Christmas Carol performance
- Take photographs with your loved ones to create memories
7. Save Money – Know when to Stop Shopping
You have completed your shopping list and done a double check through; this is when you need to stop shopping. But usually, that never happens. The thought that pops in your head is – “Let’s just look around, do some window shopping.” This can lead to impulse shopping, and such poor decisions can blow your budget. Be mindful of how you spend during festivals and only purchase just what you need.
Saving money during the festive season can balance both before and post-festive season. Most important is to plan and stick to your budget and not overspend due to excitement. Follow the above tips to save money during the festive season and see the difference.
This year enjoy Diwali and Christmas without any stress with your family and friends. Be mindful and do not let any financial stress take over your festive celebrations.