When the holidays roll around each year, it can put some strain on families who don’t have a lot of extra money. Between shopping for gifts, buying expensive decorations, and trying to entertain friends and family members, the costs can really add up. Take away the stress and enjoy the holiday season with a few money-saving tips.
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Make a deal with loved ones this year that you will only give handmade gifts. This can save a lot of money and allow you to showcase your creative skills. Even if you don’t consider yourself too crafty, there are fun gifts you can make that are simple and won’t require too many supplies. Some of the favorites are homemade bath products, such as sugar scrubs, bath salts, and lip balm, or tasty treats to enjoy. Younger kids can join in on the fun by drawing pictures for family members or designing personalized holiday cards.
Before you start shopping for gifts, be sure to set a budget and stick to it. One of the best ways to get deals on presents is to shop throughout the year instead of waiting for December. Stores offer better pricing on winter clothing and accessories during the off-season, so you can stock up on coats and other apparel to give when the cold weather hits. Just after Christmas, you can buy cards, wrapping paper, decorations, and other items for the next year at clearance prices. Find deals on lights for indoor and outdoor decorating at Christmas Lights Etc.
Take Advantage of Free Activities
Get in the holiday spirit by spending time together as a family and participating in local activities within your community. You could bundle up and walk through the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights and decorations, or host a cookie exchange with friends and family members. Check with local churches and community centers in your area to find out if they host any other holiday activities, since these are typically free to people who live within the community.
Visit the Library
If you and your kids love reading holiday stories during the season, you can check out books for free at your local library. Read them aloud together each night before bed to get excited for the big day.
During the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the things you don’t have. One of the best ways to combat this is to volunteer in your community. Save up spare change and extra money throughout the year so you can give holiday gifts to a needy family in your area, or collect extra clothing items from neighbors and offer them to a local homeless shelter. Your kids can part with toys they don’t play with any more. You can also volunteer in person at shelters by helping to prepare and serve meals, organize donations, and do any other tasks needed.
Families can still make wonderful memories and have fun together during the holidays without dipping into the emergency savings account.