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Taming the Wild Cost of the Holidays

Personal Insights

The holiday season is almost here, and now is the time to get ready. Time is already growing short, and there is still a lot to do.

Hopefully you already have a fully funded holiday spending account in place, one that will allow you to purchase gifts for the ones you love. If not, a few simple spending offsets could fund your holidays. These financial compromises will help you enjoy a happy and financially healthy holiday season, so you can start the new year debt free.

Go Grocery Shopping in Your Pantry and Freezer

Instead of taking that weekly trip the grocery store, go shopping in your pantry and freezer. Take a look at what you have, and then look for creative ways to use those ingredients.

Even if you have to buy a few extras, you will still save money, and you can use that extra cash to start a holiday fund. You will also be avoiding food waste, something that can really take a toll on your household budget.

Netflix and Chill

Between the cost of the tickets themselves and the price of a babysitter, a single night at the movies could set you back $100 or more. That is money you could use for your holiday fund, so skip that night out and enjoy a date in your own living room.

Just pop some popcorn and fire up your favorite streaming service. Instead of spending big bucks on a first-run movie you may not even like, you will have your choice of hundreds of titles, so you can choose your favorites and enjoy a spectacular, and inexpensive, date night.

Be Your Own Dog Groomer

If you are paying to have your dog bathed and groomed, try being your own groomer for a month or two. You can take the money you save and add it to your holiday fund.

Who knows, you might even like being your own dog groomer. If so, you can continue the savings long after the holiday season has ended.

Target One Nonessential Expense

If you are looking for an easy source of holiday cash, just grab your budget worksheet. Look at all of your nonessential expenses, and then target one of them for reduction or elimination.

It could be anything, from dinners out and alcoholic beverages to that daily cup of gourmet coffee. If you can live without it for a month or two, you could add extra money to your holiday spending fund.

The holiday season should be a time of fun and family togetherness, but for all too many it is a source of financial and personal stress. If you want to avoid the financial hangover without forgoing the joys of the holiday season, making a few small changes now could pay off big time.

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