This post is sponsored by Regions Bank, Member FDIC.
The holidays may look very different this year because of COVID-19. With many of us staying at home and social distancing, a lot of gift shopping is happening online and many events are canceled. However, this it doesn’t mean you can’t still make things magical and memorable for your family. Here are a few easy holiday money saving tips to try this year that can help you be smart with your money and still enjoy a festive holiday season.
Create a Holiday Spending Budget
This year, more than ever, it’s important to plan ahead for the holiday season and all of the expenses that come along with it. To avoid overspending, create a holiday spending budget and stick to it. Think of everyone that you plan to buy gifts for, and jot down other expenses you expect to have, like holiday cards, decorations, or family meals. Use this holiday budgeting worksheet to map out how much you can realistically spend and keep your spending in check.
Look for Ways to Save While Online Shopping
Shopping online is the safest way to buy gifts this year because of COVID-19. However, it can also be an easy way to find yourself overspending. With so many great sales and the ease of online shopping, it often takes just a few clicks and all of a sudden, you have bought way more than you anticipated. And now that we’re all spending more time at home, you may find yourself clicking away on your favorite brands’ sites more than in previous years.
To save while you shop online, be sure to sign up for your favorite retailers’ email lists. You’ll learn of any sales and receive coupons to use for your shopping. You can also try using rebate or cashback sites and apps. These can give you cash back when you shop at thousands of online retailers.
And remember, retailers are fighting for consumers’ attention and dollars – even online. Be sure to shop around and compare prices from different retailers to find the best sales. Though Black Friday is billed to have the best deals for holiday shopping, many toys and other items often drop in price in December. Take advantage of those sales to maximize savings.
DIY Your Gifts
Some of the best gifts to receive are those that are handmade. Don’t hesitate to handmake a gift. From bath bombs to baked goods, the internet is full of simple, handmade gift ideas that you can create this holiday season. By DIYing your gifts, you can save a lot of money over shopping retail. Moreover, making gifts for people can be a fun way to get creative with your kids.
The holidays are all about giving. Many people are in need this year, and your generosity can help make the holiday season brighter for others. If you’re able to earmark some money in your budget or have extra money left in your budget thanks to shopping sales, consider making donations to organizations serving others during the holidays. It can also be a great way to teach your children about being kind and generous. It’s like they always say, “it is better to give than to receive.”
Make Memories as a Family
This year, many festive events are canceled in an effort to keep people healthy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still find ways to enjoy the season. Go for an evening drive to look at holiday decorations. Read a daily holiday storybook. Enjoy a holiday movie marathon night with cups of hot cocoa. Make sugar cookies and decorate them as a family. These times together will become cherished memories – and won’t hurt your budget.
Remember, the holidays are about so much more than spending. So do your best to stay within your budget, enjoy this special season and make the most of time together with your family and loved ones – even if it is mostly virtual!