Whether we like it or not, 2020 has made it easier to save money this holiday season. Many of us live in areas with strongly suggested stay at home orders. The money we usually spend traveling and hosting friends and family isn’t happening this year. Company holiday parties, and the spend on outfits, are also cancelled. Below are simple ways to save money during the holidays in 2020 and years to come.
Keep a List of Everything You Need to Buy And Watch For Sales
Start off the holiday season by creating a list of everything you need or want to buy. This includes gifts for people, items you need to celebrate the holidays around your house and things you and your family need in general. For gifts, don’t forget about teachers, doormen and other people that have helped you throughout the year. There are a ton of great deals around the holidays not just for gifts but also for household items and even things you use daily like hair and skin products. Be smart with your spending and take advantage of better prices for things you need.
If money is tight, set a limit for how much you can spend and don’t go over that amount. If you can afford to spend a little extra don’t hold yourself to a strict limit. That way, if you see something that’s normally $100 for $50 that you won’t need until the Spring you can buy it now instead of spending $100 later. Sticking to your list will help limit unnecessary purchases and help you save money.
Buy Gift Card Deals
During Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weeks leading up to Christmas many places both large and small offer discounts on gift cards. A local restaurant group offers additional $25 gift cards for every $100 you buy. In 2019 and 2020 Target offered 10% off gift cards one weekend up to $400 in 2019 and $500 in 2020.
This is a great way to save on gifts as well your normal purchases. If you visit these restaurants and stores throughout the year buy the gift cards and save money throughout the year as you redeem them. If this pushes you a little over your budget but you have the cash to do so don’t feel guilty about spending money. You’re helping give cash to local businesses that need it most and the money you spend now is ultimately saving you money next year.
Celebrate the Holidays Via Zoom
Our options for how to celebrate the holidays in 2020 are definitely not our top choice but it does present an opportunity to save money. Take advantage of the stay at home orders / recommendations and save money on travel and food by celebrating via Zoom. When this is all over we’re all going to want to see family, travel, attend events etc so you can save money now to celebrate extra later, add to your emergency fund or pay down bills.
Celebrate The Holidays on Another Day
Traveling during holidays, especially when it involves a plane, is expensive. Sure, we’d all prefer to celebrate the holiday on the actual day but can you celebrate a few days or a week later? Being flexible with the family gathering can save you hundreds of dollars on flights. It also saves you time waiting in airport security lines and traffic.
In 2020 especially we are missing spending the holidays with our families. There is no reason we can’t celebrate the holidays later in the spring or summer because we weren’t able to celebrate now.
Buy Decorations Post Holiday Or During a Sale
Savings aren’t just limited to household Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah decorations either. You can also save money on holiday cards immediately after the holiday and gift wrapping. If someone gives you a gift in a gift bag, save it and reuse it.
Have Someone Else Host the Holiday
Hosting a holiday gathering is expensive. It costs an average of $31 / person to host Thanksgiving. To drive down costs, limit the number of people you invite or take people up on their offer when they ask what they can bring. Save more money hosting Thanksgiving by taking these small steps.
Save Money Attending Holiday Parties
Getting invited to a holiday party sounds like a free meal. It can be a cheap night out! But, be careful of the other expenses. Expenses can add up and it may make sense to skip some of the holiday parties you’re invited to.
When you’re attending a company holiday party what are you wearing? Are you doing your own hair and makeup? How are you getting to and from the party? Are you meeting up with anyone else before or after? If you’re attending the party, wearing clothes you already own and driving yourself it will be pretty cheap to attend. As you add new clothes, Ubers, etc the costs will add up pretty quickly.
When you’re attending a family or friends holiday party some of the same expenses can creep in. New clothes, hair, makeup, Ubers, etc. In addition, gifts for the host. If you’re invited to a lot of holiday parties around the same time you can plan and take advantage of buying in bulk. For example, making a big batch of Christmas cookies and bringing a platter of cookies to each party. Some liquor stores have discounts if you buy 6 or more bottles of wine at a time.
If you notice no matter what you can’t cut your spending down enough, look for ways to earn more money fast through side hustles. What are simple ways you’re saving money during the holidays?