Do all your gift shopping with cash. Wrap your own gifts. Send e-cards for free instead of relying on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver your seasons greetings. There are lots of ways to save money during the holidays.
And to continue saving your $5s.
Just yesterday, with $100 in cash, it was easy for me to save three $5s during a short pre-Thanksgiving shopping trip. I stopped by three different stores—a retail shop, a supermarket, and a convenience store and bought three items (one food, one gift, and one home cleaning product), each time paying with $20 bills. Viola! Three necessary purchases, and three $5s ($15) to add to my savings nest egg. All in one afternoon.
Here are five tips to help you reign in holiday spending over the next several weeks.
1. Do most of your gift shopping with cash. For starters, you’ll be much more aware of how much you are actually spending. And remember, you won’t get a $5 back if you pay with a debit or credit card. Besides getting some $5s back as change, you may get in and out of the stores faster if you’re allowed in the cash only line at check-out.
2. Wrap your own gifts instead of paying extra at the department store. Buying wrapping paper and ribbon in bulk (and then wrapping the gifts yourself) will be much cheaper than paying someone else to do it.
3. Prepare your own foods and buffet tables for holiday parties instead of paying a caterer. Better yet, host a pot-luck party and sample the unique dishes of all your friends and family, while saving stress and money.
4. Instead of sending your holiday photo cards through the U.S. Postal Service, send e-cards, for free. Put the $100 or more dollars you would have spent on printing and postage in the bank instead.
5. Establish a holiday budget and stick to it. Avoid impulse buying just because you like the way something looks or feels. Walk away and if a few days from now you still really want the item, then go back and buy it.
Ta-da! Five easy tips for cutting costs during the holidays. Bet you can think of more.
Yours in Fives,