Christmas is just around the corner. In our country, if you’re employed (read earning money) it is expected that we give gifts to our family, friends, godchildren – practically to everyone we know. Below are 5 money-saving tips to keep your budget in check during the holiday season.
- Make a list and check it twice
As early as you can, make a list of people you would be giving gifts to. Avoid doing last minute Christmas shopping just because you forgot to get your uncle a present. You can plan ahead and watch out for pre-holiday sales.
Shopping while on coffee break? Take advantage of online shopping sites that offer awesome annual sales with huge discounts. Online shopping not only allows you more options at your fingertips, it also spares you from the horrible traffic all over the Metro. Your items will be delivered at your doorstep and shipping is often free.
If you’re the type who like to brave the traffic and the shopping-frenzy crowd (for us work at home peeps, it is also an excuse to go out and socialize), head out to your favorite mall. Follow the Facebook pages of these giant malls and watch out for the announcements of their 3 day sale. You might even get an extra 5 – 10% discount if you’re an owner of their exclusive membership card.
- Shop in the name of love.
Know the gifts that would make them happy. An expensive gift is not always the best gift (Did I just see your wallet smile?). Well-thought-of gifts give joy to any recipient. So, don’t give to impress.
If you’re the crafty type, DIY your gifts and save some money. Head out to Divisoria or Dapitan to score inexpensive items. Add your personal touches. Make use of your lunch breaks to prepare your gifts. Creative + personal touches = savings!
- Set a budget (and stick to it)
This is the hardest part. I know how year after you you set a Christmas shopping budget but never stuck with it. Set aside a portion of your monthly salary for your holiday spending.
If you have tried your best in sticking to your holiday spending budget but your best just isn’t good enough, it’s high time you consider other money-saving hacks.
Save on your electric bill by using LED Christmas lights. Limit the use of your AC especially at night. -BER months are always cooler anyway.
- Consider non traditional gifts
While store-bought gifts are exciting to receive, some people would appreciate some company. Give the gift of time.
One good thing about working from home is you can actually work anywhere. Offer to babysit for a mom-friend with 3 kids who is in dire need of a me-time. Accompany a friend whose mother is confined in a hospital. Don’t forget to bring your trusted wireless connection with you.
Try these tips and enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank. Have yourself a merry little Christmas… and some savings.
Contributor: Maria Antonio