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How to keep the Holidays affordable

This time of year is known as a budget blower. No matter how much money you try to set aside you somehow always end up spending more money than you should. Here are a few tips for keeping the Holidays somewhat affordable:

1- Stock up after Christmas- This may not help you out this year, but next year you’ll be thanking me. If you are in need of ornaments, lights or other Christmas decor- be sure to stock up after the Christmas season is over. Most items will be marked down 50-75% from the normal prices which can save you a bundle for next year.

2- Use greenery instead of flowers- Instead of buying poinsettias and floral arrangements to beautify your home this season, get outside and use some of what’s available around your house instead. Fresh sprigs of holly, pine and apothecary make for excellent winter season decor and cost nothing.

3-  Shop ahead of time- Last minute shopping can end up costing you more as prices are generally higher right before Christmas. Try to knock out all of your shopping before (or right after) Thanksgiving when prices are low and you can find some great deals.

4- Limit gifts when appropriate- Do you find yourself exchanging gifts with a ton of people each year? Start limiting some unnessecry gift buying by asking friends and others not to exchange this year. Or, plan to have a nice meal together instead. Otherwise, make a rule to only buy gifts for the kids (for example your nieces and nephews) and not for adults (like between you and your sister). 

5- Negotiate your Christmas tree price- According to Real Simple.com, you can sometimes save 30-40% off of the price of your Christmas tree by negotiating the price within a few days before Christmas. If you don’t mind waiting to get your tree, it can’t hurt to try!

6-  Make your party cost- effective- If you are planning to host a Holiday party, you can still make it a hit without breaking the bank. Instead of supplying a fully stocked open bar, for example, have one speciality cocktail and in addition serve beer and wine. If you have the time, do some of the cooking yourself this year instead of having the entire event catered. Or, host a pot luck dinner where everyone brings a dish.

For more information check out How to Prevent the Top 6 Holiday Insurance Claims

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