The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it comes more opportunities to spend time with friends and family—but also more money. There’s a lot that goes into this time of year, from hosting family and friends to decorating your home to buying presents for everyone on your list. If you’re looking for ways to cut back on your holiday spending, here are a few ideas to try this year.
Create a holiday budget
Before the holiday purchases begin, make sure you first create a realistic budget. This can help you have a clear idea of what you can and cannot afford. If you go into the holidays without a set number in mind, it’s easy to spend more than you meant to. So keep track of your spending and do your best to stick to the budget.
Create a shopping list
While you might feel entranced by the holiday aisle at your local home decor store, do yourself a favor and create a list of everything you need for the holidays before you start your shopping. Write down all the new decor you want for your house and the gifts you want to buy for your loved ones, and try not to stray off course. A predetermined list can help you to focus your spending and minimize on excess things that you might not really need. If you find that your list goes far beyond your holiday budget, plan to purchase the most important gifts first and only extras if there is room.
Start shopping early
The holiday season doesn’t truly kick off until mid-November, but you can save yourself some money by starting to shop earlier in the year. This can help you take advantage of early fall deals or events like Amazon’s Prime Days. You might not yet know everything that you need for the holidays, but even starting with small deals on things like wrapping paper, tape, and LED lights for around the house can go a long way to save you more this season.
Shopping at antique stores and thrift stores is one of the best ways to find new-to-you items without the higher price tags. These places tend to have large selections of holiday decorations, and you never know what unique pieces you’ll find for your home. They’re also great places to find gifts for those on your list, so take a look at your local secondhand stores before you purchase new items. You might be surprised by what you find.
Avoid using credit cards
You might feel tempted to put everything onto your credit card, but it’s actually better to use cash when you can during the holidays. Paying with cash can help you avoid falling into the trap of another swipe or two of your credit card and keep you on track.
Don’t let the holidays drain your bank account. Instead, set yourself up for success in the New Year by using these tips to cut back on your holiday spending.