Try to balance your extra expenses by decreasing your spending in other areas. For example, if you go out for pizza and a movie every other weekend, skip it this month. The money you save will help offset the season’s extra expenses.
When traveling, be smart. If you are flying to visit relatives and one flight is $200 cheaper per person, but requires a 45-minute layover, take the cheaper flight. You’ll save some cash! If you are driving long distances, consider public transportation or carpooling. The extra cash will help balance your holiday budget.
Do some of your holiday shopping online. Not only will you be less tempted to stray from your original shopping goals, you’ll also be able to use email promotions and coupon codes to your advantage. When you subscribe to e-retailers, you usually receive emails with significant savings, and you’ll know when all of the big sales are taking place. In addition, you won’t have to wait in long holiday lines. So make that list and check it twice!
Think about how the holidays could affect your energy usage—those lights lining your driveway use electricity. Try using LED holiday lights to save money on your power bill, and make sure to turn lights off when you’re not using them or not home.
Think eco-friendly when decorating. Recycle items from your home to create decorations—use pipe cleaners, thread or ribbons to string things together. Bring nature inside by using evergreen or ivy branches, and pinecones; seasonal fruits and garden greens. Head into the kitchen and pull out the cinnamon sticks, popcorn, star anise, bag of cranberries, tin foil or homemade gingerbread cookies.
Paying attention to even the smallest details can help you to cut costs so that after the holidays, you won’t be tapped out.