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How to Save Money During the Holiday Season

Money Girl reveals 5 tips on how to enjoy the holidays without creating a financial hangover that you'll regret in the New Year.

By
Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #375

How to Save Money During the Holiday SeasonIt starts innocently enough with Halloween, and ends with a bang at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Yes, I’m talking about the Holiday Season, that time of year when we undo many of the good things we previously accomplished for our physical and financial health.

In this episode, I’ll reveal tips for enjoying the holidays without overspending or overindulging--so you can end the year without a financial hangover that you'll soon regret..

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The Season of Indulgence

During the holiday season, the average American gains 5 to 7 pounds, and racks up several hundred dollars in credit card debt. Heck, we spend almost $3 billion just on Halloween candy!

Now, I have a serious sweet tooth, and love a huge Thanksgiving plate as much as the next person. And I also know what it’s like to get caught up in too much shopping and consumerism during the holidays.

However, there’s a line between enjoying yourself and truly overindulging--and that line is different for everyone. My goal is to help you find that line for yourself, so you have a joyous holiday that you don’t end up regretting.

With that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you avoid overspending during the holidays:

Tip #1: Create a Giving Plan

Before Thanksgiving, begin thinking about every person who you’d like to give a gift, such as family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, teachers, the mailman, the doorman, and so on. Create a giving plan by estimating a gift amount for each person, even if you have no idea what to give him or her yet.

Add up your total estimated gift amount and see if it works for your budget. Also, don’t forget to add expenses like wrapping paper, cards, and postage. If the total is more than you can afford or want to pay, you have 2 options:

  • Reduce the estimated gift amounts for some or all of the people on your giving plan
  • Cut people from your giving plan

To reduce costs, you could buy less expensive items, or make an economical batch of something homemade and from the heart, such as cookies or tree ornaments. It’s also nice to have extras of homemade gifts on hand so you can reciprocate when someone gives you a gift that you didn’t expect to receive.

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.