Tips To Save Money During The Holidays
Believe it or not, the holiday season is quickly approaching. This is a busy time of year for all of us, and many people are on the move. Last year it was estimated that approximately 107.3 million Americans1 would travel 50 miles or more during the busiest time of the season. With all of the travel and all of the gifts, the expenses of the holiday season can add up. If you want to save some money this season, here are a few tips.
Stay at an Airbnb™
One of the best parts of the holidays is when friends and family come together. However, due to a variety of circumstances, it’s not always possible to stay all together in one place. Hotels can be expensive, especially if you’re planning to stay for more than a day or two or have a large group of people. Airbnb™2 and other home sharing services can help ease the costs of lodging by offering places to stay in a wide range of prices. That way, you can find an arrangement that works for you and your budget.
Plan travel in advance
As soon as you have plans set for the holidays, start planning travel arrangements. If you know you’ll be flying, book flights as early as you can3 to try to avoid price hikes. Then make a reservation to rent a car if you will need it. This can save added stress and last-minute pricing increases if you wait until later. While stores often have deals around this time of year, airlines can mark up prices, so don’t delay!
Look for deals on gifts
Gifts usually are the biggest part of our holiday expenses.4 Luckily, there are sales and deals throughout the holiday season. Sign up for emails from your favorite brands and stores so you’ll be notified about promotions and discounts. Keep an eye on mailers to see what specials stores are running. Companies’ websites and social media channels also share the latest deals. Looking for offers in multiple places may lead to deals like special discounts and free shipping.
Sell items you no longer want
Having some extra cash on hand is never a bad thing. So if you have things laying around the house that you no longer want or use, try selling them. You can sell clothes, shoes and accessories to resell stores.5 Take books to a local bookstore to see if they will purchase them from you. There are also plenty of apps and websites where you can sell unwanted goods. You can then use your spare cash to purchase holiday gifts for loved ones.
While it may be tempting to buy new decorations for the holidays, you likely have items you can still use. Having the latest and greatest lights and décor can come with a large price tag. If you really want something new to spice up your winter décor, shop around to find stores offering coupons or sales. Many stores offer huge sales at the end of the season to get rid of merchandise. That way, you’ll be all set for next year!
Revisit your budget
If you’re serious about saving as much as you can throughout the holidays, it’s important to be serious about your budget. If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to get started. You might have to cut down on ‘want’ expenses, such as eating out, going to the movies, personal shopping and so on. If you have a plan in place for the holiday season, it can help prevent excess spending.
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1Renshaw, Jarrett. (2017, Dec 14). Retrieved from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-christmas-travel/record-number-of-americans-to-travel-during-christmas-holiday-aaa-idUSKBN1E823F
2French, Sally. (2023, Jan 30). Retrieved from: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/travel/are-airbnbs-more-cost-effective-than-hotels
3Dhir, Rajeev. (2021, Jun 8). Retrieved from: https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/113015/do-plane-tickets-get-cheaper-closer-date-departure.asp
4DeVon, Cheyenne. (2022, Dec 8). Retrieved from: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/08/how-much-americans-may-spend-on-the-holidays.html
5LaPonsie, Maryalene. (2022, Sept 15). Retrieved from: https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/top-online-consignment-shops-for-selling-your-clothes