The holidays can be a hard time financially and with inflation and rising costs, this year looks to be no different. That’s why I’m sharing 10 things you can do to prepare for the holidays to keep your mind and wallet at ease.
The holidays are meant to be an enjoyable time, so let’s keep it that way!
1. Start making plans NOW
The holidays may still seem far away but don’t let that stop with from making plans now, like figuring out what it is exactly that you’re going to need to save up for. Figure out if your social calendar will be filled or whether you’ll need to travel out of town to see family. Also, don’t forget to keep tabs on potential gifts and sales so that you can snag the best deal.
2. Be honest with family and friends
Don’t keep up with joneses simply to save face with your family and friends. Especially, since more likely than not you probably aren’t the only one watching your pennies right now.
If your family or friends are planning expensive gift exchanges or trips, be honest about not being able to make that happen this year but that you’d still love to spend some quality time with them this holiday season or suggest something else within your budget.
3. Start new traditions
How often have you been given a gift from someone that ends up just being thrown in a closet? To avoid getting gifts that you either don’t want or need, why not suggest a gift exchange with your friends and family and ask for something you actually want within a certain spending limit? Or if gifts aren’t your thing then why not suggest an activity that everyone can get involved with and enjoy?
4. Make a holiday-specific budget
Putting together a separate holiday-specific budget that’s different from your usual budget can really help you stay on track. I use one each year that you can get for free here. It’s a great way to keep everything organized!
5. Share the burden
Are you one that is always in charge of cooking thanksgiving dinner? With rising food costs, that could be a big undertaking this year. So why not turn thanksgiving into a potluck? Take the burden off your shoulders and get your guests to pitch in, in whatever way they can so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Be sure to check out this post on how to save on holiday dinners and this one on how to get a thanksgiving meal for free!
6. Set spending limits
Setting simple spending limits on various holiday extras can help curb overspending and the potential for debt. Read this post on how I set spending limits for the holidays.
7. Take up a side hustle
I have a whole series about various different side hustles that could add extra money to your pocket. There are interviews from all sorts of side hustlers including dog walking, secret shopping, and writing, depending on what your skills and interests are.
8. Do some free holiday activities
Not all holiday fun has to come with a price tag, or at least not a big one. Look at what’s happening in your community by checking out the free events around town. There are usually winter fairs or markets that are great for window shopping and inspiration for making your own DYI decorations.
9. Shop smarter & seasonal
Every month I post about what fruit and veg seasons are in season, what to buy, and what to shop for later. So depending on the month, plan your meals and shopping trips with the season in mind so that you don’t end up paying $10 for strawberries in winter. Here’s my post for November and December!
10. Be kind to yourself
We have been through A LOT these past few years. Don’t be fooled by what you see on social media, you are not alone in feeling the financial pinch. Give yourself a break for needing some help this year.
Remember, you still can have a wonderful holiday season if you remind yourself that often the simplest things can still make the best memories.
What are some ways that you’re planning on beating rising costs and inflation? I’d love to know, so put your suggestions in the comments below!
Check out these holiday posts on Budget Girl:
The Best Holiday Coworker Gift Ideas
The 2021 Ultimate Frugal Gift Guide
How to beat supermarket meat prices