Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
The season of giving often means the season of spending. It can be easy to go overboard on holiday expenses as experts predict the average household will spend between $830 to $1,050 to make this season merry and bright.
Gifts, parties, and decorating create added pressure to spend money during the holidays. It can be helpful to remember that the more money spent is not an indicator of how much one cares. The thrill of nice gifts or hosting fancy parties is fleeting compared to the stress that comes when the bills arrive.
Celebrate the holidays without maxing out credit cards by budgeting, giving gifts of time, and by trying some of the tips below.
Save money during the holidays by first creating a list of anticipated expenses, including gifts, travel, and party costs. Use this list to make a budget and shopping list. Planning can prevent last-minute shopping when prices are typically increased. Use an automated app to track spending and shop early to take advantage of sales.
Rethink traditions and consider potluck for a holiday party or meal. Visit local antique or discount stores for holiday wrapping supplies, ornaments, candy, and small toys. Get creative and try making decorations such as garland or paper stars.
You can give thoughtful gifts without spending a lot of money. Consider focusing more on experiences rather than material things.
Festive and Inexpensive Gift Ideas
Give the gift of time this year. Offering to do tasks or chores for others can be a meaningful gift that is very appreciated.
- Offer to babysit for a date night or simply more “me-time.”
- Make and deliver a favorite meal.
- Pick up a friend’s grocery order for them.
- Walk a neighbor’s dog or offer to dog sit when they are out of town.
- Vacuum and clean someone’s car.
Make it easy for loved ones to do an activity they don’t normally have time for or wouldn’t do on their own.
- Teach them to make something you know they like, such as their favorite dish.
- Gift paint and supplies, then invite them to monthly paint nights with you.
- Share a fun hobby with them by participating together in a new sport, craft, or activity.
- Gift an experience like a cooking, painting, or wine tasting class.
Create a thoughtful gift by making something by hand.
- Put together “Gifts in Jars” – check out some fun options at https://thefrugalgirls.com/gifts-in-jars-recipes.
- Give warmth and light with homemade candles! They are easier to make than you might think – learn more at https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/basic-candle-making-instructions-516753.
- Make homemade treats like fudge, caramels, cookies, or bread.
- Create a memory or photo book.
- Compile a book of favorite family recipes.