This Christmas, Americans will spend an average of $920 on gifts for friends and family. Of course, that figure doesn’t include additional expenses like decorations, lights, travel plans, etc. In fact, South Carolinians likely noticed an increase in the price of Christmas trees this season which were estimated to be up by about 5% over last year. Although it may seem impossible to save money during the holidays there’s plenty of ways to not overspend and still make others envious of your gift-giving skills. So, we’re ranking the top 5 ways to save money this Christmas.
- Set a budget and track spending
Setting a budget is a vital aspect of any holiday shopping trip. Without a budget, it’s easy to overspend and get caught up in the rush of holiday sales. Thankfully, there’s plenty of great resources for setting budgets including apps and spreadsheets. Just as important is remembering to track a budget once it’s set. Tracking a budget ensures that it’s being implemented. Otherwise, the original budget becomes meaningless.
- Shop secondhand
Unlike traditional retail stores, secondhand shopping is a great way to pick up name brand products at store brand costs. In some of our previous blog entries, we detail just how much money you could save by shopping for gifts at secondhand stores like a local Goodwill. For example, check out our holiday gift guide for Mom and Dad with ideas we found while thrifting at a few of our stores. Chances are your local thrift shop has an amazing selection of kitchenware, clothes, toys, games, glassware, movies, books and more! Plus, it’s great for the environment too.
- Stay active on social media
Typically, most brands will announce sales online through social media platforms and on occasion will offer special discount codes. For example, we announced our special Black Friday offer on Twitter a few days before the event. So, before you go shopping be sure you give your favorite brands a follow and check for promotions or sales on items you may end up purchasing. Be sure to check across all platforms including Instagram and Facebook as different mediums may offer different information.
- Use cash
Nowadays, most shoppers carry around a credit/debit card for the ease and convenience of making purchases. However, exclusively using a card can quickly become a bad habit without proper budgeting and discipline. When using cash, you’re better able to understand just how much money is being spent throughout your holiday shopping spree.
- Consider DIY gifts
Not sure what to buy someone? Try crafting them a simple yet thoughtful present instead. Secondhand stores like your local Goodwill are guaranteed to have plenty of items that you can either use for making crafts or upcycle into another great Christmas gift. Either way, a DIY present will save money and demonstrate thoughtfulness.
Do you have more great money saving tips that we didn’t cover in this blog? Share them with us on social media! Lastly, don’t forget to check out the rest of our “12 Days of Thriftmas” blog series.