The holiday season can be tough on the wallet. Here are some money-saving tips to help you stick to a budget and reduce costs so you can enjoy this joyous time!
Maybe you’re hoping to buy a new dishwasher for your home, or you’d really like to splurge on a new gym membership to help you keep those New Year’s resolutions. Whatever your financial goals are for the end of this year, saving money during the holidays may be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. Here are some quick saving tips for the holiday season:
- Sticking to a budget is the best way to save. Decide on the total amount you can spend over the holidays, and write out a detailed budget that includes gifts, groceries, decorations, travel costs, entertainment, utility bills, and other expenses.
- Plan for energy efficiency and to use electricity wisely during the holidays with these energy saving tips:
- Use LED holiday lights, which use significantly less energy than incandescent lights, last longer, and are brighter. Better yet, use solar powered lights.
- Put your holiday lights on automatic timers so that they aren’t using energy any longer than needed.
- Install a programmable thermostat in your home to automatically regulate temperatures based on your household’s schedule for comfort and energy savings.
- Use your fireplace or wood burning stove for a cozy holiday feeling and to help keep heating bills down.
- Eat holiday dinners by candlelight for a festive ambiance and lower energy usage.
- Vacuum your refrigerator coils and change your heating systems filters to keep both running efficiently.
- Suggest that your family or group of friends opt for a gift drawing rather than exchanging individual presents. Or host a white elephant party where guests bring an unwanted gift that they’ve already received to exchange.
- Give homemade gifts this year. In addition to saving money, DIY gifts are more personal and can showcase your talents and creativity. Draw or paint a picture, knit a scarf, assemble a book of treasured family recipes, or crochet a colorful afghan. If you love to cook, bake a specialty item or assemble a soup or muffin kit with pre-measured ingredients and instructions.
- Make your own holiday decorations. This can be a great activity for the whole family to enjoy. Homemade Christmas ornaments will become treasured keepsakes, and you can use pinecone decorations and wreaths for years to come. String popcorn, cranberries, or paper strips to make garlands for the tree, or let little ones make a garland from their handprints.
- Agree to do instead of give this year. Instead of exchanging gifts, ask your extended family to work together on a community project. In addition to saving money, you’ll all receive the invaluable gift of spending quality time together. Or offer your services and talents as gifts this year. Does someone on your list have a new baby? Offer free babysitting hours. Is there someone you know who has a busy month coming up? Provide a meal a week that you’ve cooked. Do you know someone who has been wanting to paint his or her house? Give hat person a day of your time as a painter.
Having home warranty coverage may also help you save money if a covered item breaks down during the holidays. A home warranty provides valuable protection for many major home systems that are expensive to repair or replace. In addition to budget protection, an AHS home warranty also gives you access to repair technicians, which can help save precious time during the busy holiday season.