5 Holiday Money Saving Tips & Ideas to Make Shopping Stress-Free

Holiday shopping can be lots of fun, but it can also cause lots of stress! It’s a time of year when we all tend to spend more than we do normally and if you’re not careful, debt can pile up quickly. It can be hard to keep your spending in check when festivity is on your mind.

We struggle with that too. At this time of year, with the holidays approaching, a lot of our Addition Financial members approach us looking for holiday savings tips and holiday money saving ideas.

Since this is a topic we’ve thought a lot about, here are five holiday money saving tips and ideas to take the stress out of holiday shopping this year.

#1: Buy Everything with Cash

You don’t need us to tell you how easy it can be to overspend when you’re buying everything with plastic. If you’ve got a decent credit limit, you might be tempted to spend big on holiday gifts and be stuck with a boatload of debt later.

Instead, why not do things the old-fashioned way and pay with cash this year? The main benefit of paying with cash is that you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending. Of course, be sure not to use the cash advance option on your credit card if you go this route. The high interest rates for cash advances will negate anything you might save by paying with cash.

#2: Set Spending Limits

How much will you spend on each person on your holiday list? If you answer with a shrug, it may be a good idea to nail down those limits while there’s still time.

Some families set per person spending limits every year. If yours doesn’t, there’s still time to suggest it. Even if your family resists, though, it’s still a good idea to know ahead of time what your limits are.

You may even want to combine this tip with the first one. Take out exactly what you want to spend, in cash, and then use what you’ve got in your holiday gift envelope to buy all your gifts. You can keep a copy of your list in the envelope together with your receipts. That will help you stay on track and avoid overspending.

#3: Be a Comparison Shopper

Are you the type of person who buys a gift the first place you see it for sale, or the kind who shops around for bargains? It’s time to embrace the latter option if you want to save money.

For example, say your favorite niece wants a video game for the holidays. It’s within your spending limit, so you could just buy it at the first place you visit. But instead, try doing a bit of online comparison shopping first:

  • If you’re in a store, use your phone to compare their price with online retailers
  • Search for store coupons
  • Ask if the store you’re in has a “we won’t be undersold” policy

The process doesn’t take much time and it can save you tons of money on your holiday shopping. After all, your niece is not going to know that you bought her game on sale!

The Holiday Season Financial Preparation Guide for Families

#4: Choose the Secret Santa Method for Group Gift Exchanges

If you’ve got a large family or friend group, you can go broke trying to buy gifts for everybody. Instead of doing that, why not suggest a Secret Santa option where everybody draws names and you each buy a gift for one person?

The nice thing about this option is that you can set a generous spending limit that’s still less than what you would have paid on individual gifts for everyone in the group. That way, each person gets a nice gift and nobody overspends.

Another option is to do a gift swap where everybody buys a gift and you draw numbers to choose packages.

#5: Open a Holiday Savings Account

Fall is here, but there’s still plenty of time to save for holiday shopping if you want to. If you want to save a little bit each week and hold off on your shopping until later, consider opening a holiday savings account.

For example, at Addition Financial, we have a holiday and vacation savings account that’s ideal for people who want to save now for the holidays. You can arrange for automatic transfers from your main checking account or manually transfer money each week if you prefer. By the time the holidays roll around, you can be sure you’ll have enough to meet all your gift buying needs.

Holiday spending doesn’t need to be stressful if you plan properly. The five tips and ideas we’ve included here can help you buy thoughtful gifts that your friends and family will love without accruing new debt.

Ready to start saving for the holidays? Click here to learn about Addition Financial’s holiday savings account!