Buying a Christmas tree will cost more in 2019. That’s partly because trees take years to grow, and tree farms planted fewer trees after 2008’s recession.
True, you could save money during the holidays by not buying a real tree. A fake tree could help you save so much. The Christmas season gives you a number of reasons to spend and tips like these can save you from getting into the festive debt trap.
While you try out the simple ways to save money every now and then, here are five of the best tips on how to save money during the holidays.
1. Have a Christmas Potluck
Want to know how to save money at Christmas? Avoid cooking a gigantic Christmas dinner.
You can still eat all your holiday favorites. But organize a potluck with loved ones instead of cooking everything yourself.
If you’re hosting, you may still want to cook a turkey or ham. Leave the side dishes to your guests. It’s not rude as long as you give your guests plenty of notice about the potluck element.
2. Avoid Air Travel
There are ways to travel cheaply in winter. Unfortunately, the period right around Christmas is not one of those times.
Flying on the 24th or 25th is cheaper than flying other days. But you’re still going to be paying a lot more than you would in January.
If you can’t find a suitable flight by late October, it’s time to consider staying home. Prices only go up after that point.
You’ll no doubt miss family members and loved ones. But taking a break from the holiday travel rush can be good for both your brain and your bank account.
3. Limit Credit Card Spending
Credit card companies often tempt you with cashback offers during the holiday season. Yet saving money now can mean spending more later.
Limit your credit card spending at Christmas. Remember that you’ll be paying interest on that new TV or stereo system.
If you have a card with great rewards, use it sparingly. Only make purchases you can pay off within a month or two.
4. Look for Free Holiday Events
Lots of families love to see movies during Christmas. Yet tickets for an evening show can easily cost $10 or $12. And the ticket prices will feel cheap compared to what you spend at the concession stand.
Look for free events instead. Your downtown probably has a display of Christmas lights or trees in December. Take a stroll and look at the sights and sounds of the holiday season.
5. Plan Any Splurges
Getting caught up in the holiday spirit is good, but not when you spend too much money. If you like holiday coffee drinks, plan on drinking them once or twice. Don’t stop by the coffee shop every day on your way to work.
Yes, you deserve to treat yourself. But planning splurges helps you keep your finances under control.
Don’t feel bad about getting a peppermint mocha on your way to work Monday. But do plan to make your coffee at home the rest of the week.
How to Save Money During the Holidays
The holidays are about celebrating with loved ones. They’re also about putting yourself in the best financial position for the start of the new year.
If you avoid overspending at the end of 2019, you won’t have to pay off your festive debt in 2020.
Our site can help you make smart financial decisions all year long. Check out our blog archives to learn more about how to save money.