There’s a lot of spending at Christmas time, such as holiday shopping and traveling to be with loved ones. Before you start swiping your credit card, make sure you know top ways to save on Christmas shopping, traveling and festivities.
Here are the top, easy ways to save at Christmas, for real.
Easy ways to Christmas shop smarter (like why to take breaks at the mall!)
When you’ve been Christmas shopping for a few hours, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and start making poor, expensive purchases just to “be done with it” and get out of the store. To prevent spending too much from mall stress, try these holiday shopping tips.
- Take a break! After a few hours of shopping, which can create high stress, your brain needs a break. Stop for a latte and read for 20 minutes. A short break will let your brain regain calm and composure!
- Go with a friend or two who are good, frugal shoppers. Tell them what you need and your budget; have them hold you accountable. When you stress over choices or cost, they’ll help you focus and stick to your holiday budget.
- If you hit the mall or stores solo, bring your ipod and listen to calm, soothing music. It’ll keep you relaxed while shopping.
Create a Christmas area or holiday closet
Create a Christmas area in your home to rally all your Christmas goods together. Keep anything you might need for Christmas wrapping and Christmas gifting. For example, store holiday wrapping paper, reusable boxes and bags for presents, and gifts you received that you could, well, regift. By having everything in one area, it’s easy to see what you already have. (No need to buy rolls of wrapping paper when you already have plenty!)
**Image Credit Goes to Victor Hanacek at PicJumbo
Know when to book flights: Times when airfare is cheapest
According to DealNews.com, it’s cheapest to book international travel in January and February. So, if you want to give the gift of travel for Christmas, do so but actually book the trip in the month or 2 after. Or, if you have family abroad, talk about doing a January or Valentine’s Day visit instead of one around December 25.
Get Cheap Airfare Travel with Flexibility
Save money on travel by being flexible with times. For example:
- If you’re willing to have multiple flights and a long layover, you’ll probably save a lot more money compared to a direct flight at the prime travel time.
- Often, you can get cheaper flights on Christmas day itself. If you’re willing or able to be the last person to show up on Christmas, save by flying December 25th’s afternoon!
Use a price scanner app to save money and get customer reviews
By using a price scanner app, you’ll make sure you’re getting a good quality product and the best price. The scanner app ScanLife lets you see customer reviews, so you know that gift will last and give good results. And try a scanner app such as Shop Savvy to find prices at other stores!
Have a discount calculator to calculate your savings
Have you ever seen something like this: “$136.99 – 25% Off Today Only!” A rough estimate in your head, especially when stressed from holiday shopping, might not be accurate. Use the discount calculator app to see EXACTLY much you’re saving. This can really save money holiday shopping.
Easy ways to save gift giving
There are many other concrete ways to save money Christmas gift giving. Learn easy ways to save at our blog: How to Save Money on Gifts (Easy Ways to Save Gifting).
Haggle to Save Money on Christmas gifts and Christmas activities
Many stores and venues price match. For example, retailers and Target and Best Buy will match lower prices of competitors. So, instead of seeing a better price online and going home to order that, when you’re already in the store holding what you want, just go to the counter. Show an employee you found a lower price somewhere else, and you’ll get your cheaper price.
Make a Christmas budget and list
It’s very important to set a holiday budget, otherwise Christmas spending can go haywire. Make sure you have a Christmas gift giving list and a budget to stay organized and spend what you’re comfortable with. Also include holiday meals, as it’s easy to overspend on ingredients and pre-made Christmas food.
**Image Credit goes to Victor Hanacek of PicJumbo
Behind on budget? How to make money fast for Christmas cash
As Christmas approaches, you may realize you’re behind on budget and money. Don’t worry; there are easy ways to make quick money before Christmas.
Like this, gather old electronics from around the house and join a reward program that gives rewards through recycling. I recommend trying MaxBack.com or RecycleBank.com. (Rewards you can get include things like gift cards.)
Find other, easy ways to make money fast at our blog 15 Unusual Ways to Make Good Money Fast.
**Feature Image by Victor Hanacek of PicJumbo