Christmas is less than a month away and if you haven’t got all of your shopping done, you might be starting to feel a little anxious. The holidays can heighten concerns about money, and the pressure to ensure a good Christmas for your family can provide a lot of strain on your finances – as well as your mental health. The good news is that there’s still time to save some money to put towards the holidays. Take a look at these last-minute tricks to help you save money in time for Christmas.
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
Take the $5 meal challenge
Is your grocery shop one of your biggest expenses? If so, it could also be one of the areas where you could make the biggest savings. There are some easy things you can do to save money on groceries, including:
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry
- Make a meal plan each week to help make sure you get everything you need
- Leave the kids at home
- Write a list and stick to it
- Only visit the grocery store once a week – top-up shopping can lead you to spend more than you need to.
- Write down all of the expiry dates and keep them on the fridge to help you make the most of your food.
One way to really cut down on your grocery bill is to take the $5 meal challenge. There are plenty of simple and delicious meals you can make for $5 that will help you keep your food costs down. Even if you use a couple of these a week, it’ll make a big difference to your finances.
Have some ‘no drive’ days
Gas can be another thing that eats your finances. Giving your car a break for a day or two a week could help you reduce your outgoings and leave you with a bit of money left over to put towards the holidays. Walk to work, cycle to the store, and do anything else it takes you to leave your car on the driveway. The money will soon add up, and you’ll be helping the environment too.
Have a clear out
If you’re planning on filling your home with gifts over the holidays, now is a good time to have a clear-out. Going through your clothes and household items to find things you no longer want or need will help you make some room, and could make you some money too. By being clever with online tools, you can click for more information about what’s popular to sell on eBay and similar websites. You never know when your trash might be someone else’s treasure, so have a good clear-out and see if you could make some extra cash in the lead-up to the holidays.
Do Secret Santa
Secret Santa is a good way to cut down on your costs this Christmas. Even if you just do this for the grown-ups in your family, it could help you cut your gift-buying budget right down. Use an online Secret Santa generator to make it easier for you to keep things anonymous and ensure everyone stays on track. Buying for fewer people can take some of the stress off of Christmas shopping and stop you from overspending to try to please everyone.
Shop around online
You can get some great bargains by shopping online for your Christmas gifts, even after Black Friday is over. Before you buy anything, shop around and look for a discount coupon to see if you could save some money. Signing up for newsletters can give you some easy and instant savings, so make sure you do some research before you checkout.
Learn to say no
December can bring about a lot of different party invitations and dinners, but if you accept too many invitations you’ll find yourself living way beyond your means. Make a plan to decline social invitations until nearer to Christmas – your fear of missing out will fade eventually. If you have to go, try being the designated driver or vowing not to drink to help you keep costs down and to avoid those miserable hangovers in the morning!
Enjoy family nights in
There can be a lot of pressure to go out and do things as a family over the holidays, but why not enjoy some nights in together instead? A family games night or a night in watching festive movies can be a great way for you all to spend time together and come up with some new traditions. Get inspiration for fun family nights in and enjoy what the holidays are really about.
Leave the plastic at home
Carrying your purse with you when you’re out and about can lead to the temptation to spend. If you just withdraw the cash for what you need for the week and leave your plastic at home, you could help save yourself some money. How many times do you buy a candy bar or a soda as you’re walking past the store? Carrying the money you need and no more will help you stick to a budget easier and allow you to save some extra money.
Use a round up app
It’s never too late to make some extra savings. With the right money app, you can round up spending on your card to the nearest dollar and help you save as the month goes on. You won’t miss the cash at the time, but you’ll be grateful for the little stash you’ll accumulate at the end of the month. Start saving your spare change to help boost your finances in time for Christmas.
Saving money can seem like a struggle, but if you are clever about it – you can make some extra savings in time for Christmas. Tighten your belt, budget to the penny and look for savings any way you can – your efforts will pay off, and you’ll have a nice bit of extra cash in your pocket to help make the holidays a little easier.