The end of the year is drawing to a close.
You want to cherish the memories from the year with your close ones. You want to celebrate the little joys in life. You want to revel in the merriment of the approaching school holidays and festivities - and, of course, the impending new year.
But are you considering the costs of all of the above?
Now, sure, we don't want to be misers when it comes to spreading the season's cheer. We want our loved ones to truly love the gifts we give them and we want to be able to afford to do so.
So how do you be prudent while shopping for holiday gifts?
How do you ensure you buy Christmas presents without burning a hole in your pocket?
How do you feast during the festivities without eating into your savings?
5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Celebrate the Holidays: Tips for the Budget-Conscious
1. Make a budget
Worried about overspending? Then the first thing you need to do is to set a budget.
Decide what you need in your budget. Are you in charge of gifts? Do you need to account for some decorations for any year-end gatherings? Have you listed everyone you need to exchange presents with?
Don't forget to budget for things like transportation for deliveries, shipping costs, and even gift wrapping items such as wrapping paper, tape, ribbons, etc.
Now that you have your budget, work around it. As much as possible, write down all your expenses so you know how your progress is and be ready to make adjustments along the way, wherever necessary.
2. Use rewards, redemption, cards that offer cashback
Fortunately for consumers, with the advent of so many credit cards and online shopping websites, the competition has made it easier for us to get the most bang out of our buck.
Credit cards often run holiday special promotions where they have redemptions for purchases on certain websites or even at your favourite restaurant or cafe. Find your bank's credit card offer page or call them up and ask for the list of places you can get rewards, redemptions or straight up good quality discounts from.
This is also a good time for you to redeem all those vouchers you've gotten from gifts from your birthday or points you have collected on different cards.
3. Shop early to get the best deals
The good thing about the December holiday period is that it comes just after amazing sale periods like 11.11 and Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Make a list of the things you want to get for your loved ones way before Christmas and add them to your wishlist. Get notified when these items go on sale so you can not only stick to your budget but even have some extra change to spare for a good meal with a loved one!
4. Use this time to get crafty
Who says you need to buy expensive gifts?
How about making this holiday season a special project to do something out of the norm for your family or friends? Care packages - for example - are really a thing that has gotten a lot of love during the pandemic. Find a few small items that your loved ones will enjoy using (e.g. self care products or small trinkets that you can craft yourself) and send it to them.
If you enjoy getting your hands dirty, you could even paint something or make something yourself. How about a scrapbook of memories? Or maybe a decorative card that you could do with children? Get creative!
5. Save up early!
Holidays are a yearly affair. Even with the pandemic going on for what seems like forever, we still don't want to miss out on end of the year celebrations like Christmas and New Year's Eve with our loved ones - even if it means some of us have to meet virtually.
We are fortunate to be in a day and age where we can catch up and send gifts to each other across the world, so let's make the most of it by saving up for it early so we can have the best time for the upcoming holidays.
Work with your budget, check the latest trends, invest if you can so you can reap some benefits from compounding that you can then shift into your holiday spending fund. Every little bit matters to spread that merriment we all crave for so badly when the year comes to a close.
Wishing everyone a safe holiday!