How To Not Go Broke During The Holidays
For some of you, it might be a little too late this year.
You’re already broke.
But if you still have a few bucks to your name and still have some holiday shopping to do, then read this first.
Otherwise, save it for next year.
This has been such an eye-opening year for me in terms of holiday spending.
It’s like everywhere I look, there’s some kind of ad trying to hook me into spending money.
I’d be lying if I said they didn’t work on me.
I definitely cave sometimes and make those impulse purchases.
But with a baby on the way and plenty of other stuff I gotta buy, I can’t afford to make those mistakes too often. Ya feel me?
So how do we not go broke during the holidays?
Well, here are a few ideas, for starters.
1. Create A Gift Spreadsheet + Budget
I’m usually a hot mess when it comes to holiday shopping, but this year, I decided to get organized. Instead of casually walking through the stores and grabbing things I thought people might like, I created an Excel spreadsheet to keep me on track. You see, when it comes to gift-giving, I tend to end up with a lot of guilt and I don’t even know why. I tend to think that I should be buying each person on my list more stuff and bigger gifts, regardless of whether or not I can afford it. So this time around, I created a budget. I wrote down each person on my list, my budget for each of them, and then I listed what I intended to buy them and how much money it actually ended up costing. It was helpful to keep track of all the things I bought this season because in years past I’d forget that I had already bought stuff and I’d end up totally blowing my budget. So put together a quick spreadsheet before you start your holiday shopping next year. Trust me, your wallet will thank you later.
2. Unsubscribe From Emails
During Black Friday/Cyber Monday week – actually, scratch that – the ENTIRE MONTHS OF NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER – I’ve received thousands and thousands of promotional e-mails. Dear God, I hate them. They’ve caused me so much anxiety because they tap into that sense of FOMO we all get when we don’t want to miss out on an awesome offer, and like I said, I’m not immune to them. “Hurry, this offer won’t last long!”…”Free shipping on every purchase!”…”Buy One Get One Free!”…
That’s literally what every email in my inbox has looked like lately and I hate it. I mean, I get that businesses need to sell things. But I’ve just reached my breaking point and so has my bank account. So as of a couple weeks ago, I started unsubscribing from promotional email lists. Will I miss those emails from Nordstrom letting me know that they have a sale going on? IDK, maybe. But I like to think that if I really NEEDED to buy something from Nordstrom, I’d head over to their website regardless of those emails and by not receiving those push notifications, I’ll be less likely to give into impulse purchases.
3. Unfollow Posting-Every-Minute Fashion Bloggers
I’m sorry. I know I’m a blogger, and I am totally supportive of bloggers doing their thing, but some things have gotten a little ridiculous. If I scroll through Instagram right now, I can bet you my left hand that 9 out of 10 photos are of either knee high boots, chunky sweaters, or cute Christmas pjs with links on where to buy them all. Yea, everything looks so pretty. And yea, I want to buy it all. But this constant need to promote items for purchase especially things like clothes and shoes – I’m just over it. It’s probably why so many of us are so far up our asses in debt. Sorry for my rant here, but needless to say, I’ve been purging my Instagram account and I don’t regret it one bit.
4. Start A Holiday Shopping Fund For Next Year
I actually did this last year and it’s the only thing keeping me somewhat sane this holiday season. Since last Christmas, I’ve been automatically putting away about $50 a paycheck into a separate checking account that I’ve been calling my Christmas fund. I didn’t touch that money at all last year, and specifically saved it for holiday shopping. So at the start of this season, instead of having to come up with all this cash to buy presents, I already had a nice little pool of money to work with and that made things a whole lot less stressful. You definitely want to consider doing that for next year.
5. Save Money On Whatever Gifts You DO Have To Buy
So we talked about trying to stay within a budget and doing whatever you have to do to avoid impulse purchases, but in those cases where you DO need to buy a few things, make sure you’re taking advantage of any opportunities to save. Use services like Ebates that give you money back for the purchases you make. Coupon the crap out of everything. Compare prices – you’ll be surprised at how many businesses actually price match. Whenever possible, try to avoid paying full price. Every penny counts when you’re doing tons of shopping.
And that’s about it! Hopefully those tips will help you save some money this holiday season. Any other advice? What else have you guys done to avoid going broke during the holidays?