The holidays are fast approaching, and we all know what that means. It means spending a lot of money, right? Wrong! We’ve turned Thanksgiving, Christmas and many other holidays into excuses for going on shopping sprees and just throwing money away, but that’s not what they are. And, most importantly, you should never consider throwing money away as something all right.
Holidays don’t have to be about spending. Quite the opposite, they can be about saving. And this is something that everyone should be interested in, especially seeing as how we live in a world that seems to always be just a step away from another financial crisis.
I first started saving during the holidays a few years back. Now I can say that it’s a tradition. It’s great for the family and for my wallet. Here’s how I did it:
1. Everyone contributes
In my family, we always had potluck style Thanksgivings, and this didn’t change once I moved to a place of my own. We’re going to do it this year as well. I will be in charge of the turkey while my guests, friends and family, will each bring something with them, anything from drinks to dessert. This way you can save both money and time, because you won’t have to spend as much time in the kitchen as usual. Try it out and see if it works for you.
2. Stay at home
People often choose to travel during the holidays, but you can relax just as well at home. Not to mention that you’ll save a lot of money. And, if you want to visit family, remember that Christmas is also just around the corner. You can spend that holiday with them.
3. Be smart on Black Friday
Black Friday is the bane of all credit cards. People go wild on that day and no matter how many tips you get or how many plans you make, you usually end up buying more than you need. If you really need something and if that something is on sale at a discount, then take full advantage of Black Friday. But, if you don’t need anything, it’s better to skip this day. Your wallet will thank you.
4. Leftovers can also help you save
The leftovers from the Thanksgiving dinner can last you for a few days, maybe even a week. Use them. Don’t throw food away. It’s good, usually healthy food, and you can save money by not eating out for lunch.
5. Invite your parents over
Not only will you save on those expensive airplane tickets, but you’ll also have someone to watch your kids, so you don’t have to spend any money on babysitters.
6. There’s an alternative to Black Friday
Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving. It is a Black Friday for online retailers. If you don’t like lines or going out, it’s exactly the right thing for you. Cyber Monday can help you find the best deals and you’ll be doing it from your own home.
Thanksgiving and the other holidays should not be about shopping. They are about spending time with your loved ones, relaxing and taking care of yourself. But, if you can help your finances as well, there’s no reason not to do it.