If you followed my Holiday Saving blog post from last year, you should be in great shape for holiday spending this year. But with COVID crushing so many financially, perhaps your Holiday spending fund got pilfered just so you could make ends meet.
Here are 5 tips to help give gifts for the holidays without going into debt (SAY NO TO DEBT!)
1. DIY GIFTS: I’m going to start with the no or very low cost gift ideas. If you’re like me, you love a great hand-written note. And if the card has been hand designed, even better. Remember that no one wants you to spend money you don’t have to please them. Break out of the “people pleaser” mindset. On the flip side, no one wants to see you showing up in all new clothes and then say you couldn’t get them a gift. If you really have no funds, use your creativity and ingenuity to brainstorm low or no cost gifts. Not as a cop out, but as a true gift. Use Facebook marketplace or freecycle to upscale something. Brainstorm with your friends – maybe you can help each other with DIY gifts. And if nothing else, a great hand-written note/poem may be the best gift of all.
2. BUDGET for 8 WEEKS: If you have the means, I suggest budgeting over October & November (maybe into December) for the holidays… that’s 8 weeks to save. If you can save $100 a week, you’d have $800 for the holidays. Can you do that? If you don’t need that much or you can’t save that much, then scale back. Even $50 a week (or $100 every 2 weeks) will yield $400.
3. WRITE IT DOWN: Know what you’re going to spend your money on – have a plan. If you have $500, how much is going towards gifts, food, travel, décor, charitable giving? Be specific. If you have 5 people you will be purchasing for, name them and write an amount next to their name (within your budget) and then stick to that. This plan will help keep you from going into debt.
4. USE APPS & COUPONS: Search for promos, coupons, sales. There are even apps to help you find deals (Honey) and give cash back when you shop online. to find deals when shopping online like Ibotta, Ebates/Rakuten, Shopkick, Wkibuy and Mr. Rebates.
5. “LOCK UP” CREDIT CARD: Use your debit card to shop online or at in-person stores. Could even use CASH if you’re shopping in-person. I know it’s a novel concept! Either way you’ll be more likely to stick to your budget and to not start adding things for yourself or things you don’t really need.
Here’s to you as you prepare your hearts for the holiday season coming soon.
As a certified Personal Finance coach and an award winning Personal Finance Educator, Kathleen serves others through coaching and both online and in-person Financial-based Masterminds. She works with people of all ages, but her passion is to help young adults take control of their finances early and get on a path to Financial Hope & Freedom so they can live into their passions and purpose. Additionally she helps parents provide their children training and experience to become financially savvy and character-driven from a young age so that they avoid common financial pitfalls in their adult years.