8 Money saving tips for the holiday season

a gift on credit

The holiday season is the most expensive time of the year. People spend considerable sums on gifts, decorations and entertainment and are often left on the other end of the season with a regrettable hole in their pockets. The following tips seek to help consumers avoid the holiday financial trap.

Here are 8 money saving tips for the holidays:

1. Make a plan – lists, lists and more lists

Whether you’re hitting the stores on for gifts on Black Friday, gathering supplies for a party or doing some last minute shopping, making sure you have a detailed list of what you need not only helps save you time in the store, it can help you avoid the expenses involved with impulse buying and purchases that fall under the mindset “I might need that too”. So write a list and stick to it.

2. Buy early

Taking advantage of sales before the holiday rush kicks in can save you a fortune. It requires planning and forward thinking, but not as much as you think – take advantage of the Black Friday sales – it’s only a month in advance.

3. Set a budget

Like the list building idea, set how much you can afford to spend and don’t go over it. Break down the costs of the season as much as you can and make sure you follow it closely.

4. Don’t shop on an empty stomach

This rule is tried and true. It’s based on the idea that if you shop when you’re hungry, your going to spend more on food items because you body is affecting your decision making process. Eat before you shop.

5. Do your shopping online

You can save a considerable amount buy making your purchases online. Destinations like Amazon offer cheap alternatives to buying from retail stores and shipping is no longer the issue it used to be.

6. Look for coupon sites

There is a swarm of coupon sites that can save you sizable amounts on your various shipping bills. It seems there is a new coupon site showing up everyday… But be sure the source is reputable so you don’t fall into a scam.

7. Make it yourself

When growing up most people can remember a time when they made gifts instead of buying them. As the convenience of buying, instead of making took over, we tend to forget how special a hand made present is. The extra effort can really make a difference. It’s not a great approach for everyone, but can be an extra special option for those closest to you (did anyone say photo album!?).

8. Start a saving account for next year

While your out getting gifts at the Black Friday sales, you may like to consider gifts next year – buying in bulk can usually afford you extra discounts if you’re willing to ask the sales person for them.

But most importantly, enjoy yourself – just be careful with your spending.