Getting out of the latest Christmas season craze, most people would rather put the whole affair out of their minds and concentrate on getting their finances, especially their maxed out credit cards, back to good standing. Sadly, this kind of thinking will only serve as a stopgap until the next time the Yuletide madness comes rolling in. As early as now, we should be preparing ourselves for the inevitability that is the holiday season. When we start to think about Christmas spending in the scope of an entire year instead of condensing all the costs related to it in a single month made up of thirty-one days, things get a mite bit easier to juggle. Here are some of our favourite ways to hack the most wonderful time of the year.
Early Christmas lists
As early as today, you should start compiling a list of what you expect to spend on Christmas. And it goes without saying that this list should contain everything. Will you be flying home for the holidays, staying home, or going out of town? Will there be family reunions or get-togethers with friends? How many gifts will you be buying? Will there be decorations? Special purchases? Dinner parties and special events? As difficult as it may sound, how well you can foresee what your Christmas celebration will be the biggest stepping stone to a financially sound and stress free holiday season.
The Big Three
Food. Presents. Decoration. These are the three categories in which most holiday shoppers spend a bulk of their cold, hard cash (and, in other cases, available credit). Tracking and monitoring your spending in the Big Three is half the battle won. Want to win the other half? Minimize on spending by leaning towards DIY personalization and suave consumption. You don’t really need an estrogen-pumped turkey for a Christmas dinner of three people. And personalized greeting cards will trump Hallmark any day of the week. Of course, we’re not saying that you should be felling your own Christmas tree and hauling it back to home base with your bare hands. Just taking the time to know which expenses are worth making and which ones are just products of capitalist marketing and opportunist companies will shave hundreds of dollars off your expense sheet. You are keeping a record of your Christmas shopping, right?
It’s a very good thing that financial savvy and cutting costs has grown as a nationwide trend and has done nothing but gain steam in recent times. If not, people who regularly use coupons and folks who hoard vouchers would be ostracized in decent company. My Voucher Codes has become the new popular. These days, you can get tons of vouchers simply by asking or literally typing it in your Google search bar. Offers are almost limitless, and only grow by the dozen the closer the holiday season gets. Here is an example of a site that deals exclusively in vouchers and sales. Buying something for full retail isn’t exactly frowned upon, but getting it for far, far less is all the more rewarding. The lists we talked about earlier would still apply, though. It’s very easy to get carried away by the slashed prices and bulk order discounts.