Between hosting family meals, holiday travel, and gift-giving, expenses mount up at this time of the year. And since we get swamped throughout the holidays, it’s become easy not to ensure we’re saving money where we can.
It’s especially true after skipping most festivities last year. You might be overly excited to make up for lost time with an extravagant holiday season this year. Hence, you might overlook costs that can quickly add up.
To avoid racking up holiday debt, here are a few things you can cut from your budget.
Costly Gift Wrap
Expensive gift wrapping is one of the most inessential things you can remove from your holiday budget. Say, for example, you’re going to give plenty of gifts this Christmas, you’re going to need a lot of gift wrappers, which can quickly become expensive.
Apart from gift wraps, ribbons and bows can add a lot of costs to the gift. Ditch these expensive aesthetics and save money during christmas. You can upcycle old maps, brown paper bags, and newspapers for the chicest looking presents under the Christmas tree.
Instead of buying multiple rolls of expensive gift wraps, think of other creative ways to wrap a gift. For example, you can use grocery store bags or brown lunch bags by turning them into gift bags. You can even draw things on it or cut them up to make a ribbon.
Also, you can turn an empty potato chip bag into a gift wrap. All you have to do is cut the sides of the bag and have the inside face outward. And voila! It becomes a metallic gift wrap. Or, you can use a piece of old fabric to wrap a small gift.
There’s no need to spend money on fancy wines this holiday season. Nowadays, there are many wine offerings, with some at an affordable cost Make sure to ask a wine steward for their wine suggestion at your price point.
According to a sommelier, there are ways to save money on wine. First and foremost, you need to know more about wine. Learn some lingo and rudimentary knowledge. By doing so, you’re more likely to end up with a wine you’ll enjoy, and that’s within your budget.
Next, look for a wine shop where you’re comfortable talking with the pros. That way, you won’t be afraid or embarrassed to say you’ve got $10 to spend on a bottle of wine. Remember that there’s a bottle of wine at every price point.
Expensive Party Foods
Many people are tempted to make things extra special this holiday season, particularly when it comes to food. However, your budget or bank account might not agree. The holiday season is all about tradition. So, you don’t need to get fancy.
The good news is that you can still enjoy a joyful season without overspending. For one, consider making simple meals, such as mashed potatoes, tamales, and chocolate cheesecake. Moreover, take advantage of the sale at your local grocery store.
If your family and close friends are coming over, let them contribute to the meal so that you can save money.
Mailing and Shipping Costs
If you like to mail gifts to family and friends out of town, know that the shipping costs can add up fast, especially when the U.S. Postal Service has increased its shipping rates this time of year.
Fortunately, there are ways to get your gifts delivered without breaking the bank. For out-of-town family members and friends, think about sending virtual gift cards. By doing so, you can dodge the expensive shipping fees.
Also, instead of giving material gifts, consider sharing a good experience together. For example, backyard meals, drive-in movies, and picnics are all fun gifts. Plus, it encourages good needs rather than wants.
If you still want to give material gifts, you can order a product online from a store that has a location where your family member or friend lives. By doing so, you can skip paying hefty shipping charges. You can do this with Sam’s Club, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Target.
For things that need to be mailed, use your credit card to earn mile points for shipping. Many credit cards can give you at least a 10% discount.
This year’s holiday season might be specifically challenging with heavy demand and rising prices due to supply chain issues. The cost of holiday-related items can be expensive, which can quickly eat your budget, making you spend more than expected. In return, you land in debt. And nobody wants to be in debt starting the new year. To avoid this pitfall, cut down on unnecessary holiday expenses such as expensive gift wrapping, fancy wines, and costly foods.