The holidays can be expensive. It’s a great time to travel because you have the time off, you feel like you have to buy gifts for friends and family, and you meet up with other loved ones for dinner and drinks every other night.
It’s okay to be overwhelmed by the amount of spending you may feel pressured to do, especially if you’re currently saving for a new home. If you think your dollars are better spent on your new home purchase in the new year, then follow the tips below.
Set a budget and stick to it
This is easier said than done, and it’s not really a tip because most people who set a budget intend to stick to it, and then it just never really happens that way. A good way to stick to your budget would be to make a list of the people you want to buy gifts for, and then set a dollar amount for each one of them. Then look ahead at potential nights out with friends and family, and factor that into your budget too.
This is the scary part. If you have it, take it all out in cash. If you don’t have it, what are you thinking? Revisit that budget. Having it out in cash will force you to stick to the money allotment you’ve determined. Just keep it somewhere safe and don’t lose it!
Propose a secret Santa amongst family
Having trouble buying for your brother in-law, your nieces and nephews, your mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt and uncle? You’ll never afford that down payment if you have to buy for all these people. It may be too close to Christmas to propose a Secret Santa, but you can always try. Buying one gift is way more affordable and way less stressful.
Make it a potluck
If you’re hosting Christmas dinner, you have to shell out to feed all those hungry mouths. Not to mention all the time that it’s going to take to prepare your home and the food. There’s nothing wrong with making it a potluck. Assign the dishes to your guests and if they’re real friends, they will be delighted to participate.
Be smart with your bonus
If you’re fortunate enough to receive an end-of-year bonus, be smart with it. Don’t treat it like extra money. You worked hard all year and this bonus will go a long way in your savings for a down payment.
Make a donation
If you really want to stick to your budget, decide how much you would likely spend or how much you can afford to spend on gifts, and then instead of buying gifts, make a lump sum donation to a non-profit organization. Then have the willpower to not buy gifts for anyone!
We hope these tips help you save money through the holidays so you’re ready to buy your new home in the new year!