15 Ways Parents Can Save Their Money This Holiday Season
In a week's time, it'll be Christmas AKA the best holiday in the entire calendar. It's everything from indulging in your favourite food to being able to put smiles on the faces of your loved ones as they open the gift you went all out to get them (and hopefully, getting something you like in return).
Done right, the family-centric holiday is supposed to be one of the main highlights of the last 12 months. But while it might be a season that we eagerly anticipate each and every year, it can also be a pretty stressful time, particularly if you're a parent of young children.
If you happen to be experiencing financial difficulties during the festive period, you might find yourself struggling to buy everything on your family's wishlist or struggling to prepare every dish you had intended to. You simply cannot afford Christmas for how commercialised it has become.
Christmas might be the most wonderful time of year, but it's also the most expensive. What a lot of parents don't know, however, is that there are plenty of ways you can save money during the holiday season. From pre-planned shopping to better methods for budgeting - Christmas doesn't need to be a massive drain on your funds.
So without further ado, here are 15 ways moms and dads can save money during the holidays.
1. Make homemade holiday cards
You can save a bit of cash by making homemade Christmas cards or even better, texting or calling your loved ones to wish them a Merry Christmas instead.
2. Don't turn up to each and every party you are invited to
Although it's lovely getting together with all your nearest and dearest around Christmastime, it can really start to add up if you turn up to each and every party you're invited to. If you're on a particularly tight budget, why not skip some of the festive functions this year? Because if attending each and every one means shelling out for a bottle of wine, then it's probably not worth it in the end.
3. Regift unused gifts
We've all regifted an unwanted present at least once in our lives, and it makes total sense if you're low on cash. I mean, just because you weren't particularly impressed by that $10 Barnes & Noble discount card you got a couple months ago for your birthday, doesn't mean it wouldn't find a use if you passed it on to someone who'd actually appreciate it.
4. Find online discount codes
If you do a lot of your shopping online, you might want to start taking advantage of online discount codes that can be applied to your final amount before the checkout stage. All you need is a simple Google search and you could save yourself quite a bit of cash.
5. Track your spending
You can do this by making a spreadsheet and noting down what you would like to get all your loved ones for Christmas. Find out how much everything would cost including the gift wrap and other bits and pieces and try not to go overboard.
6. Find good deals on social media
There are a lot of bloggers and influencers who share deals and product codes for their followers to use.
7. Do Secret Santa with your friends and family
Instead of giving each and every member of your family and friendship group a gift, why not set up a Secret Santa? It will mean only having to get one gift per group, and the added mystery makes it a lot more exciting.
8. Bake your cookies at home
We all love to indulge in cookies and treats during the holiday season. But this year, why not try baking them instead of buying them at a store? It's also a great way of getting your kids involved in a bit of festive fun.
9. Reuse old wrapping paper
Just like reusing old gifts, this will allow you to save a bit of cash. I mean, why let last year's wrapping paper go to waste?
10. Don't leave your Christmas lights on for too long
To prevent your electricity bill from skyrocketing during the festive period, you might want to refrain from leaving the Christmas lights on for too long. And certainly don't leave them on overnight!
11. Refrain buying things you don't really need just because they're cheap
When certain items are really cheap, it might seem like you're getting a good deal. But it's quite likely that you will buy too many of these items, you'll end up spending more money than you intended. Forget all the $1 stickers and gel pens you were planning to put in your kids' stockings and focus on the gifts you know they will remember for years to come.
12. Focus on the kids
If you want to save quite a bit of money this year, try your best to focus mainly on the kids. Some parents come to the mutual decision not to get each other anything and splash entirely on the children.
13. Getting cash or points back
This year, make an effort to get cash back or double up on your purchase with credit card points. You can get airline points, hotel points or points you can accumulate for ordinary purchases at department stores. So, potentially, all the presents you get for your friends and family could go toward your next vacation to Europe.
14. Don't buy anything for yourself
Try not to get gifts for yourself this holiday season. Remember Christmas should be about giving rather than receiving - ultimately, refraining from splashing the cash on yourself during the festive period will help you in the long run.
15. Potlucks are the way to go
Going out to eat can get very expensive so if you want to save money, go to your neighbour's potluck dinner instead of dining out.
So how many points on this list do you think you'll be following this year? Well, if you're keen to save money, then hopefully quite a few.