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  • Self - Improvement

    9 Ways To Be The Best Holiday Shopper On A Budget

    Has your credit card stopped smoking from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday yet?

    Staying fiscally responsible this time of year can be tough. After all, you have hosting obligations to cater, decorations to buy, airplane tickets to purchase, and gifts for friends, family, children, and grand babies to worry about!

    If you find yourself both excited and nervous about the upcoming expenses, hopefully some of these tips can help you keep the credit card and bank accounts cushioned and well protected.

    Holiday Planner

    Need help with Holiday Planning?

    Grab your Go-To Guide to Being the Best Holiday Shopper on a Budget! Get now my FREE Holiday Planner.

    1. WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?

    I know, I know. The dreaded “B” word.

    But being honest with yourself up front with what you’re working with will help you stay accountable.

    What do you plan on purchasing over the next month or two? Decorations, food, beverages, airplane tickets, presents…etc?


    2. BUILD A HOLIDAY LIST

    Have some fun with this one!

    Throw on some comfy PJs, snuggle up next to the fireplace, throw on some Hallmark, and start drafting a holiday list.

    Consider family, friends, children, grandchildren, work colleagues, neighbors, or anyone else who would appreciate some holiday cheer!

    Make the experience even more cozy by playing holiday music and decorating your list with fun colors, doodles and stickers.

    Ignite your inner child!


    3. EXPERIMENT WITH A GIFT EXCHANGE

    Buying presents for 10+ family members or friends adds up really quickly.

    Consider doing a holiday gift exchange instead. Draw names from a hat and buy gifts for just one family / friend member (versus everyone).

    Secret Santa works great as well if you’re participating in work functions or holiday parties.


    4. CREATE A SPECIAL HOLIDAY RECIPE BOOK

    Give the gift of health and wellness with a potluck and holiday recipe book!

    • Encourage each guest to bring a special dish / treat WITH a copy of the recipe
    • Have each person write a little blurb about what makes their recipe so memorable
    • Put the recipes together into a family / friend holiday recipe book
    • Make copies and send out to each guest as a special holiday gift!

    5. CONSIDER A COOKIE SWAP

    Cookie swaps are a great way to bring work colleagues together, or all of the neighbors in the neighborhood together!

    Send out a sign-up sheet to determine how many people will be participating in the cookie swap.

    Pick your favorite cookie or holiday bar recipe and make a batch large enough to give each person 3-4 cookies.

    Wrap your cookies / bars in individual baggies to keep things hygienic! 😉

    The more people who participate, the bigger plate of diversified desserts you get to take home and enjoy with your loved ones!

    6. CUT CORNERS ON PERSONAL EXPENSES

    If cutting down on your holiday gift giving list isn’t possible, find ways in your budget to cinch the belt a bit.

    • Do you have automated monthly subscriptions you’ve forgotten about? (Check your Apple / iTunes subscription list!)
    • Gym membership you’re not using as much? (consider switching to free YouTube videos, Beachbody on demand for only $10 / month, or free boutique gym specials for newbies)
    • Check out Groupon or Living Social deals for cost savings
    • Skip Starbucks and brew your cup of Joe at home

    7. LAY LOW ON EATING OUT

    Take a breather on take-out and sit-down restaurants.

    Instead, take a peek inside your pantry and freezer.

    Do you have an ingredient in your freezer that’s been there a while? (I’m looking at you, frozen bags of broccoli and mixed vegetables…)

    • Do a Google search of whatever canned goods you have lying around
    • Pinterest some recipes
    • Use a free app like Yummly to find a recipe specifically for the ingredient you’re trying to use up

    Now, grab your loved one(s) and cook together! Make the night cozy with candles, dim lighting, and soft music.

    Sharing a night cooking together can be just as relaxing as going out to a fancy restaurant… (not to mention a huge cash savings!).

    Need some help with Meal Planning? Grab my FREE Meal Planner Template to help you get creative in the kitchen!


    8. MODIFY YOUR FANCY SPLURGES

    Take a break (or completely ghost) your local nail or hair salon.

    If you’re a regular, maybe go half as often.

    Find alternative ways to feel relaxed and pampered: soak in a tub with lavender soap, read a book, find a new Netflix series, or drink a glass of wine or mug of cocoa next to the fireplace.

    P.s. Doing so in a bathrobe makes R&R feel that much more luxurious!


    9. USE THOSE CREDIT CARD POINTS

    Cash in those credit card points for gift cards!

    Sometimes you can get more value out of a gift card redemption than an actual credit to your account.

    Apply them to stores you’ll be visiting this holiday season: HomeGoods, Target, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Starbucks… etc.

    Better yet- use your credit card gift card redemption for a friend/ family member who enjoys picking out their own presents! Easy-peezy!

    Holiday Planner

    Need help with Holiday Planning?

    Grab your Go-To Guide to Being the Best Holiday Shopper on a Budget! Get now my FREE Holiday Planner.

    Overall…

    Don’t let holiday shopping be financially stressful.

    Staying organized and accountable at the beginning of the season can help you stay on budget.

    Remember, sharing memories with family and friends and giving gifts in unique ways other than expensive purchases can feel JUST as loving and memorable.

    Being thoughtful and kind and spending intentional time with your loved one(s) is truly the most important part of the holiday season.


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