Saving Tips for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The holiday season, with its glittering lights, festive tunes, and heartwarming gatherings, is undoubtedly the most wonderful time of the year. However, it’s also a season that can put a strain on our finances. Between gift exchanges, elaborate feasts, and decked-out decorations, expenses can add up quickly. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into practical and creative money-saving tips to help you navigate the holiday season without breaking the bank.
1. Create a Budget and Stick to It
The foundation of a financially stress-free holiday season is a well-thought-out budget. Take a close look at your financial situation and determine how much you can comfortably allocate to gifts, decorations, and other festive expenses. Having a budget in place will not only guide your spending decisions but also provide a sense of control and awareness.
2. Try DIY Decorations
Transforming your living space into a winter wonderland doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Embrace your creative side and embark on do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for your holiday decor. From handmade ornaments and wreaths to personalized centerpieces, these creations will not only save you money but will also add a unique and personal touch to your festive home.
3. Plan Travel Strategically
If your holiday plans involve travel, try to book your tickets well in advance to take advantage of lower prices. Be flexible with your travel dates, consider alternative airports, and explore budget-friendly accommodation options. Planning strategically can result in significant savings on travel expenses. Traveling by car? Brushing up on winter driving tips can save you a lot of money in the long run.
4. Do a Secret Santa Gift Exchange
If you have a large group of friends or family, consider suggesting a Secret Santa or gift exchange. This way, each participant is responsible for buying just one gift, reducing the financial burden for everyone involved. Set a reasonable budget for the exchange to ensure it remains inclusive and affordable for all.
5. Make Homemade Treats as Gifts
A heartfelt and budget-friendly gift idea is to share homemade treats. Baking a variety of cookies, crafting fudge, or creating personalized jams not only saves money but also shows thought and effort. Package these delights in festive containers for a delicious and meaningful holiday gift.
6. Gift Yourself a Smart Thermostat
While you’re out shopping or doing things for others, save money at home by getting a smart thermostat that dials back the temperature when you’re not there. Plus, as you snuggle under blankets at night, it can automatically drop temps to a much more economical setting. By simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting, you’ll save as much as 10% a year.1 Considering that the average energy bill is over $2,000, you may be able to pocket hundreds over the year.2
7. Take Advantage of Free Shipping Day
Everyone is well-aware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But did you know that if you need to do some last-minute shopping that December also has Free Shipping Day? December 14th is your day to maximize your savings while guaranteeing shipment just in time for Christmas.3 It’s the perfect time to check items off your gift list without breaking the bank.
8. Use Cashback and Rewards
If you have credit cards that offer cashback or rewards, now is the time to leverage them. Check your accumulated points or cashback balance and use them to offset holiday expenses. Just be sure to pay off your credit card balance promptly to avoid any interest charges that might detract from your savings.
9. Embrace Cost-Effective Gift Wrapping
Gift wrapping can be an additional expense, but it doesn’t have to be. Opt for sustainable alternatives like recycled paper or get creative with reusable fabric or scarves. You can also repurpose newspapers or use children’s artwork for a personalized touch.
10. Comparison Shop Big-Ticket Items
If there are significant purchases on your holiday list, such as electronic gadgets or appliances, invest some time in comparison shopping. Different retailers may offer the same product at varying prices, and a little research can go a long way in securing the best deal. Make it easy on yourself by using price comparison browser extensions like Honey and Slickdeals.4
One of the most common big-ticket items many forget to comparison shop during the holidays: car insurance. Answer Financial makes comparison shopping easy, so you can leave more time and money on the table to make your holiday dreams come true this year, and the next.
Who is Answer Financial?
As one of the nation’s largest and most reputable auto & home insurance agencies, Answer Financial has insured more than 5-million homes and vehicles! We work with more than 40+ top-rated carriers to save our customers an average of $557 a year on insurance.*
Answer Financial can help you compare, buy and often save the smart way on insurance. So before you shop, remember to rely on your insurance experts to find you the right home insurance plan for your needs and budget.
November 30, 2023
- Energy.gov, “Programmable Thermostats,” https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/programmable-thermostats
- Energy Star, “Where Does My Money Go?” https://www.energystar.gov/products/where_does_my_money_go
- Lifewire, “Free Shipping Day 2023: What You Need to Know,” https://www.lifewire.com/free-shipping-day-1356609
- CNET, “These Browser Extensions and Apps Can Save You Money When Shopping Online,” https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/browser-extensions-apps-save-money/
*Results of a national survey of new Answer Financial customers reporting insurance savings 2022.