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Created By : Andy Masaki
On 9th Dec,20
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How to celebrate the holiday on a budget and save money
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You know winter has arrived when the endless ads of sweaters, gloves, scarves, etc. appear in TV commercials. The heavenly aroma of soups, muffins, and turkey roast makes winter more special to us.

And how can we all forget the special days that all come in winter, i.e, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Giving Tuesday, Christmas, and the New Year? All these days make winter the season of holidays.

Having said all these things, we should also remember one fact. Winter is also the season of huge energy bills, cold winds, shopping, gift-giving, and icy roads. Some people pay more due to their inefficient energy-wasting practices and unplanned holiday shopping activities. And eventually, they fall prey to debt especially unsecured ones like credit cards, payday loans, etc.

Although I'm a great lover of delicious dishes, nice gifts, and beautiful decorations, I'm also concerned about my wallet. I absolutely hate the idea of receiving collection calls from creditors once the celebration is over. So, I have chosen the midway and that is to celebrate the holiday on a budget.

Want to know how is this possible when the cost of every possible item is only increasing every day? Here are a few tips and tricks that you can follow to celebrate your holiday on a budget and save money.

1. Keep track of your spending

Prepare a list of the things you have bought along with the spending, and compare it to the list you created.

Had you started your shopping earlier, then it would have been easy for you to keep a tab on your expenses over several months. But it’s better late than never.

Make sure you keep track of every item you buy and of course the gross prices of them. Never let the amount exceed your budget.

2. Make gifts in advance:

Giving gifts is an integral part of the holiday celebration. But instead of giving your hard-earned dollars to Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and others, try to make fun gifts at your home. Watch Youtube videos on how to make fun gifts at home with the things you have. This will help to slash your gift-giving budget during this holiday.

3. Have comfort foods at home

With so many special days in the holiday season, the temptation to eat delicious foods in restaurants is immense. But a Christmas Dinner or lunch would cost you a minimum of $55 or $60 per plate.

Whereas, a simple meal in your home would cost you half the price. You can have comfort foods and spend quality time with your family. Most importantly, it would help you stick to your holiday budget.

A good tip is to cook a little extra. Sauces are good for this. You can just freeze the sauce and use it later. If you’re too tired to cook any day, then just use the leftover sauce to prepare a quick meal on a lazy winter night.

4. Make an inexpensive New Year's resolution

Try to select an inexpensive New Year resolution. Let’s say, your new resolution is to lose weight. But in that case, don’t decide to join a gym. Rather do workouts at home. Watch videos to know how you can burn calories at home. If your New Year resolution is to become debt-free, you can repay your debts by paying less than you owe by opting for a debt settlement program.

5. Play Secret Santa

Holiday shopping can put a dent in your budget since you have to give so many gifts to everybody. But you can avoid this by playing holiday games.

For instance, you can play Secret Santa with your family. The best part of playing this game is that you have to buy only one Christmas gift instead of many but everyone will get gifts. You can play other games like Secret Santa too. Browse Pinterest to get some ideas.

6. Turn down the heat:

Perhaps, it’s one of the best ways to save money in the holiday season. Just turn your heat down a few degrees at night. You can use the same trick when you’re not at home too. This would help you save on your utility bill in winter.

7. Organize a potluck party

Love to welcome the New Year on a positive note?

If so, then organize an intimate party for your friends. There will be just the condition. Everyone has to cook at least one meal. If anyone doesn’t want to cook, then he/she can bring a bottle of wine. It would help to keep your winter budget down. You’ll save thousands and ring in the New Year with a smile.

8. Don’t look at your credit cards

Stop swiping your credit cards for everything you buy. If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it. Every year, we get many clients who incur credit card debt during the holidays.

Several credit card companies give sign-up bonuses to lure customers. Don’t fall for them. Yes, you’ll get attractive deals but if you can’t control yourself, then you’ll end up buying more than what you intended.

If you rack up a huge amount of credit card debt, there are debt relief options to help you. But why would you get into that situation? Think carefully.

9. Make credit card payments on time

Let’s say, you don’t have enough money in hand; And you are using your credit cards to spend during the holidays. If so, make sure you pay off your outstanding balance in full and on time. Otherwise, you will fall prey to the debt trap and end up paying more in the form of interest payments.

So, try to charge your credit cards for the amounts that you can afford to pay. In case, you can’t pay off your outstanding balance, it’s better to consult a reputable debt relief company rather than missing payments or continue making minimum payments.

Is going for a family trip on Christmas a good idea?

Christmas is all about making plans, shopping, decorating the home, and enjoying with family and friends. But why don't you make a travel plan with your dear ones to enjoy the togetherness differently?

Some people love to enjoy Christmas traditionally, while some people think traveling on Christmas is expensive. However, some people feel that planning a gateway is fun and it saves money too. Let’s see how!

1. Traveling allows a break from household chores

Get ready for cleaning the house, setting up chairs, inviting family and friends, labeling the gifts, decorating, and so on. The list doesn't end here, you need to spend maximum time in the kitchen preparing food for the invitees. Then you'll have to clean up the trash even after they leave. In short, you might end up doing a lot of work during the holidays.

On the other hand, a family gathering out of the home for 2 to 3 days allows you to enjoy holidays with the dear ones without worrying much. You don't have to worry about gifts, decoration supplies, a mouth-watering menu, a tidy house for accommodation, and finally storing leftovers.

2. Planning with everyone to meet at a location

Your family members might be in other states, your children are off to college somewhere, or your husband may travel a lot for work. All the members hardly get time to plan for a trip. Traveling during Christmas can be an exciting twist that you can try to make this Christmas memorable forever.

3. Saying "bye" to the gift-exchanging custom

Try to convince your Christmas fanatic family members to contribute money for a trip instead of wasting money on costly gifts, dresses, and makeup. Convey to your dear ones that you all are skipping the gift-giving tradition and considering a trip instead this year.

Thus, you can enjoy a stress-free Christmas togetherness without wasting money and your precious time planning for a party.

4. Airfare is no longer sky high

The costs of air tickets are now affordable depending on the place you're heading. You may get $125 for booking your seat. You may get reduced prices on your last minute deals online, reward points, and so on.

Imagine how much money you'll save instead of planning a party or buying gifts.

5. No post-holiday financial hangover

Planning a party, deciding the menu, decorating the home, buying perfect party outfits for all members, and gifting is more than enough to break a budget. Most of the people fail to manage the budget and start swiping credit cards to meet the holiday expenses.

As a result, they fall prey to holiday debt, and most of the time, it becomes quite cumbersome to pay off credit card debt, resulting in financial stress and anxiety.

Whereas, a well-planned trip is a fun and relaxing way to rejuvenate the energy without fearing about financial issues. You will be enjoying a vacation with your full family in a beautiful place, eating different cuisines, and meeting new people. Sounds great!

6. Avoid gaining some extra pounds

Cooking extra, overeating delicious foods, munching cookies, and gulping chocolates are all part of Christmas enjoyment. Moreover, you have to refrigerate the leftovers and consume them to avoid massive waste.

Traveling to a new place allows you to avoid those fattening sweets and scaring fat; you can enjoy the weather, food, and hiking to stay fit and energetic.

Finally, thinking out of the box doesn't mean you're not a family-oriented person. Rather, you must convince your family members to skip one Christmas celebration or keep it minimum to bring the special holiday feeling back.

Sometimes, repeating the same thing makes us bored; the event loses its charm as well. So, taking a pass on Christmas and traveling instead is an exclusive idea you'll cherish forever. And it can help you to celebrate the holiday on a budget and save money for your financial well being too.

How to celebrate the holiday during the COVID-19 pandemic

Well, the coronavirus pandemic has devastated our lives in almost every aspect. So, we need to be careful while celebrating the holiday during this pandemic situation. Here are a few tips you can follow:

  1. If you want to stay safe during this holiday season, it’s better to avoid large gatherings. You can arrange a small gathering by calling your close family members and friends.
  2. Avoid traveling during this pandemic situation. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, travel increases your chances of COVID-19 infection. Staying home is the best option to stay safe during this pandemic. If needed, you can cherish your holiday by connecting with your family and friends through video conferencing platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, etc.
  3. Stay away from physical contact as much as possible. You might feel like hugging, kissing, or handshaking with your friends and family. But due to the social distancing norms, you should avoid physical contact during this pandemic. It will help you and your loved ones stay safe from getting exposed to COVID-19.
  4. Request your guests to wear masks and maintain proper hand hygiene. If possible, you can ask your guests who have symptoms similar to that of COVID-19 to stay at home. And you can join them through video conferencing.

So, as you can see, you just need to be a bit more careful while celebrating your holiday this year. But hopefully, this pandemic will be over soon. And we will be able to celebrate the holiday season grandly next year.

Conclusion

The bottom line is, celebrating the holiday on a budget is tough at all. You need to have proper planning so that you can stick to your budget and save money for your financial well-being in the New Year. Thereby, you can avoid racking up holiday debt too. Because who likes to carry debt to the new year? So, in case, you become debt-ridden, feel free to call us at (800)-530-OVLG to get rid of your debts with ease.

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Last Updated on: Wed, 9 Dec 2020