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10 Ways To Save Money During The Holidays

Written by Millennial In debt on November 23, 2020

FTC: This post is not sponsored an I am not a financial advisor. All thoughts and weird opinions are my own. 

If you're here that means that you're sick and tired of spending money and you're trying to save money during the holidays. I can't stress how important it is to cash fund your holiday shopping to avoid debt for the New Year. If you haven't joined the Millennial In Debt Holiday Money Saving Challenge I'll give you a moment to do so.  

Now that you're in let's get into it. The holidays are super easy to go overboard. We get caught up with the love and excitement we feel during the season, and with that common sense often can out the window. You know too much to turn back now! Financial freedom and generational wealth are far more important than buying the latest gadget on the market that will be obsolete in a few years.

Wealth never goes out of style. 

RELATED POSTS:

5 Things To Avoid On Black Friday
19 Side Hustles To Make Extra Money For The Holidays

save money during the holidays

10 Ways To Save Money During The Holidays 

1. Create a Strict Budget + Stick To It:

Every year I create a sinking fund in my Capital One 360 account and add a monthly contribution until I reach my goal. I see close to $2,000 dollars (I put aside 160 a month). With that $2,000 dollars I pay my dog's annual vet visit, my home owners insurance, and have about $1,000 dollars remaining for holiday presents. 

Thought I prefer to be closer to around 5-600 dollars I have the set total that I refuse to allow myself to surpass. This way I find the best deals, because I know I won't be spending more than I've set aside. This also keeps me from over spending, or putting things on my credit card that I can't afford. 

[Amazon Store Front- Shop my fave books, outfits ,and deals]

2. Use Cash Back Apps

I have this thing where, if I'n going to have to spend money, I'd like to get a little back on my expense. Rakuten (formally known as Ebates) is my first go to when shopping online. I've been using Rakuten for quite some time, and it has been amazing seeing them expand into so many more stores I frequent. Now with the plugin on my browser, i don't even have to remember that a store is in partnership with Rakuten

The plugin sends me a quick little reminder and I'm able to get some money back. You can also use cash back apps like iBotta for grocery shopping, or DOSH and Drop that offer great deals/ perks and gift cards just for doing the normal shopping you were already set on/ planning on doing. 

Especially now during the holiday season, these apps are doubling and tripling their cash back offers. In accordance with great deal/ coupon shopping you are looking on really coming out as a double winner if you play your cards just right ! 

3. Cash fund your holiday spending 

I have been screaming this on Instagram for weeks [ @m i l l e n n i a l  in  d e b t  ] I am trying to make sure you come out of the holiday season without adding any debt into your life. We want to go in to 2021 with positive vibes, and positive bank accounts. By cash funding your holiday spending, you stick to your budget, you stick to your gift list, and you don't buy things you can't pay for. 

There's no worse feeling then buying a ton of gifts you can't afford, and having to pay interest on those purchases. When the dust settles, and the holiday season comes to an end, you don't want interest to be the gift that keeps on giving. Join in the Millennial In Debt holiday saving challenge to save $500 dollars in 30 days ! You can use that 500 dollars to buy gifts, or throw it into your savings. 

4. Avoid last minute shopping

You know how we spent all that time talking about things to avoid for Black Friday , here's something even more important: panic spending / last minute spending is where you will get the worst deals. These are the times that retailers are less likely to be cutting major deals, because they know you are last minute shopping. It also gives you far less time to find the best item that fits into your budget. 

Don;t get caught over spending because of a last minute grab for a gift. Try to get most of your shopping done in the first two weeks of December, and let the fiscally irresponsible comb their ways through the last minute "deals" being offered. 

5. Give thoughtful gifts instead of expensive gifts 

I know a majority of the time we tend to think that the more expensive the gift, the more the recipient will enjoy it. Thinking like that often will lead to over spending and taking on unnecessary holiday debt. Trust me when I tell you, giving a thoughtful gift is far better than buying an expensive gift simply because it's the hot trendy item on the inter webs. 

Shiny expensive gifts can be nice, but when we are trying to get financially free and create generational wealth. we'll take the more special, unique and cost effect gift that comes from the heart instead of the latest Jordans or PS5. 

6. Take advantage of special sale days 

In order to save money during the holidays , you have to know what you're doing and when you're doing it.  With Black Friday on the horizon, and days like Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day coming you want to pay attention to what deals are being offered when. Some places like Best Buy, Amazon, and Target have been running deals all moth, and will be giving even deeper discounts on select items when these special sale days arrive. Don't fall for the trap of an item that has been "put on sale" to its normal price. Watch the items you really need/ want closely and tap in when these special sale days arrive. 

Some things will be on sale during the thick of the holiday season, but Boxing Day (December 26th) holds some great deals if you're willing to wait a day and deliver your holiday gifts a little later than the norm. 

7. Make A Gifting List

Many folks will ask: well isn't the best way to save money is to avoid spending money? The answer is yes... but sometimes we really have to spend. So how can I save money during the holidays if I actually have to spend? I keep my gifting list short AF. I buy gifts for my nuclear family, every now and then I'll gift some of my friend's children a gift , and I take part of a Golden Girls dinner with 2 of my other friends.  

That usually leaves me buying 7-8 gifts a year. That is not a small number, and I often wish/ try to get it lower than that.  What helps keep me within budget for these 7-8 gifts I go for thoughtful and personal gifts instead of popular or name brand.

8. DIY Gifts / E cards

Similar to #5, DIY gifts can be appreciated so much more than the expensive gifts. Be careful when it comes to DIY, because I can tell you- my DIY faux living wall was NOT cheap to make. You can get lost in the aesthetic of Target and Micheals really easy, and the budget can quickly become a thing of the past. Don't let that be you! 

Stick to the budget that you have, and think of the DIY gift ideas you can make. If you're not a creative person you can also go with e-cards from free sites that you can write sweet messages to your friends and family. Again giving more of your time, effort than buying a store-bought gift, and an excellent way to save money during the holidays 

9. Secret Santa

There was one year that I was able to successfully convince my nuclear family to take part in a secret Santa instead of buying gifts for individuals. My father (whose love language is gift giving) did not enjoy that year's festivities at all, and he loves to gift and get gifts in return. That year I was able to save a ton more money than usual, because instead of having to have 7-8 presents, I only had to buy 3. 

Convince your friends and family to take part of Secret Santa instead of individual gifts. This way you'll also have an excuse to gather together to exchange fits and reveal who had who (gather safely or gather on a video call- COVID is still very much a real thing) 

10. Join the Holiday saving challenge 

Last but certainly not least, you know I had to do it. One more reminder to let you know that you should be a part of the totally kick ass holiday money saving challenge with over 300 other participants who are getting their ish together ! You can join the holiday saving challenge right here ! 

If you found this post helpful don't be afraid to share this with your friends, family and nosey neighbors ! 

Until next time, 

Hey there! I'm Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I'm busy teaching the future of society.
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