This is a sponsored guest post.
For those who want to start saving now for the new year and get on track with their spending, the holidays offer plenty of temptation. It is the season of giving, but you also want to make sure that you are sticking to your financial goals. You do not have to start the year off with a drained bank balance and more debt. Financial planners say that one of the best things you can do is make a budget and stick to it no matter what. This budget can guide your purchase decisions so you spend only what you can afford.
Some other holiday strategies to save money include:
Skip Black Friday and Shop on Cyber Monday Instead
When asked about what shopping event had more savings, Honey vice president Ted Donath chimed in. As one of the executive leaders for the coupon and discount app, Donath had seen more savings on Cyber Monday than Black Friday. In fact, by the numbers, Black Friday only saved people about 18 percent on average. In contrast, shoppers saved 21 percent on Cyber Monday.
Financial savings isn’t the only thing to consider. Black Friday shopping can be stressful, disappointing, and time-consuming. Not to mention that you may have to give up your Thanksgiving evening to go wait in line for the biggest doorbuster deals. In contrast, you can save even more just by waiting until Cyber Monday to shop online for big ticket items and smaller gifts.
Check Sites Like Facebook Marketplace, Let Go, or OfferUp First
Buying directly from a previous owner on an online marketplace is the way to go if you want to find pricey gifts that are good as new and 30 to 80 percent discounted. Some gifts do not work with this method, but second-hand smartphones, headphones, speakers, video game consoles, furniture, appliances, computers, bikes, and other electronics can easily be found these sites. The best part is that you can negotiate the price for most items if you mention that you will pay in cash immediately.
When you use this method, you should always check that your secondhand device or electronic is in working order and does exactly what you want it to do. You should be able to test out any device before purchasing it and never pay ahead of time no matter how many offers the seller says there are. If you get a message that you need to purchase via PayPal, it’s likely a scam.
Start a Secret Santa Tradition with Your Family
Do you have a large family with many cousins, aunts, and uncles? In these cases, it may be best to introduce a Secret Santa to bring you and your giftee closer, as well as save on some dough. The truth is you shouldn’t have to buy everything for everyone, but it can become difficult not to when they purchase gifts for you. That’s why you have to make it more of a tradition. If you are nervous about introducing your family to the game, hype up the mystery of the gift. You can even use a theme for each year to make the gifts more memorable.
Don’t Shop for Yourself
Yes, it can be hard not to see something and want it for yourself. However, would you be buying it if you were not out looking for gifts? Most people spend more on themselves during the holidays because you are already out shopping. Impulse buys are the biggest drainers of budgets, so if you want to save money, make a list of all the people you want to shop for and buy their gifts first.
The “three-day wait” rule is in effect here too. If you forget about the item in three days, you save some money. Can’t stop thinking about it and still want it? Then see if it is doable in your budget. Perhaps there is a new side hustle you can pick up or something you can sell from home to make some quick cash.
During the holidays, there may always be some unexpected emergencies that you cannot plan ahead for. Whether you suddenly need to fix a broken heater in the freezing weather or have an unexpected emergency medical issue, you can consider securing funds through an installment loan if your savings fall short. These loans are conveniently accessible online and can help you get funding in times of unexpected yet critical need. Always make sure to review the terms of your loan in detail and be sure you can meet the payment schedule.
Wrapping Up: Don’t Overlook the Value of Baked Goods
There are all kinds of intangibles that you can create to offset holiday costs as well. For example, you may want to bake cookies for friends at school or take to your neighbor. The value of this is not lost when you take the time to make something from the heart. It may be the best thing to give!