Even though it feels like January was two days ago, it's now less than two months away; which means the holiday season has crept up on us once again. I can admit that I'm a sucker for Christmas carols, Black Friday shopping, and all things holiday spirit.
But somewhere in between is the temptation and pressure to splurge on new holiday clothes (especially for NYE, okay?!) while still making sure I buy the best of the best gifts for other people.
It's no secret the holiday season is when we really open our wallets and have the "take all my money" spirit more than any other part of the year. But when January 1st hits, our bank accounts are looking at us like we're crazy. Over these past few years of adulting, I've found a balance between being able to save my beloved coins and still spend plenty money like Plies.
1. Under The Christmas Influence.
One of the most recent lessons I've learned is to not give in to the pressure. I feel like I'm always bringing up the power of social media, but in all honesty, sometimes it adds pressure to go in on gifts for some type of acknowledgement in return. Getting married last year was even more pressure as me and my husband experienced so many firsts together, including our first Christmas. But we made it clear we weren't going to give in to the pressure of trying to show people how much we love each other with gifts. We knew that saving and making sure our home life was intact was what was really important, so we made a deal we wouldn't give each other, or anyone else, any gifts that cost more than $20 per person. Lemme say, $20 goes a long way boo.
Ultimately, if you can just set a budget and a limit to how much you want to spend, you could save so much money and not go overboard only to regret it all when the holiday cheer dies down (because we all know it will).
2. The Who’s Who Of The Christmas List.
Remember when we were younger (oh the good old days!) and we made a Christmas list of people we wanted to shop for? That list would go on for days! But now that we finally reached that grown level status that we couldn't wait to get to, that list can definitely get Kevin Hart short now. As much as we want to be able to ball out on all of our family and friends, I was one of those people who had to come to terms with just not having the capacity to do that right now. One day, I'll be able to fill their stocking with amazing stuffers that will leave them in awe. But for now, it's okay if your list of Christmas gifts is super short, or it doesn't exist at all.
To be completely transparent, thanks to a major life transition of moving halfway across the country without completely knowing the future, I don't know if anybody will make it on the list this year. And we have to be okay with factors like that. I don't want to go as far as saying, "That's not what Christmas is about anyway… Jesus is the reason for the season." because as true as that can be, it doesn't change the fact that simply being wise in financial decisions, especially around Christmas, even if that means making sacrifices, is what can help secure the bag before the New Year.
3. Get Some Gifts For The Free Free.
I'm not saying to not spend any money around Christmas. For some of us, that's just unrealistic. But what we can do is get creative for some of the gifts, so we don't have to spend as much money. Whether you want to channel your inner 10-year-old self and give a coupon book like you did for Mother's Day back in the day or making a recipe book for someone who loves to cook, there are actually some really cute free gift ideas out there. And if you put in enough effort, it can be better than a gift you would've paid for.
The holiday season is also the perfect time to cash in on shopper rewards from retailers, grocery stores and credit cards. It might cause for some serious life hacking, but you might be surprised the great things you can get without spending one single coin.
4. The Power Of The Re-Gift.
Before I go any further, thank you in advance for not judging. But also know I'll never steer you wrong. When it comes to giving gifts, you and I both know that there could be all kinds of gems in your home that someone once gave you that you have yet to use; some of it might even still have the tags on it. Don't be ashamed to give this to someone else who might actually use it. As long as it doesn't look all raggedy, and they can't look at it and tell that you're trying to pull the 're-gift okie doke', this could be another major win for you to save money during the holiday season.
There have been times when I've re-gifted small things, from a mug I never used to a bag that I really didn't want to part ways with and was saving for a special occasion. But ultimately, it's sacrifices like this that really make the holiday season complete. So secure the bag and get creative to make sure you don't go broke this holiday season.
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