Holiday Savings_Jim Brady AttorneyThe end of the year – and all of the holiday merriment that it entails – is upon us. The holidays allow us to enjoy quality time with family, reconnect with old friends, and celebrate with coworkers. But amidst all that joy and cheer, the holidays may also present a significant financial strain. There are gifts to be given, meals to be shared and a house that needs to be kept warm. It’s a lot to keep up with. Doing a few little things here and there can add up to big savings and that can mean a lot less stress. Here are ten great ways to save money this holiday season.

  1. Dress For the Weather, Even At Home. Saving money during the holidays starts at home. The weather is changing and temperatures are falling so there’s no reason to dress like it’s mid-summer when you’re at home. Wearing a sweater and keeping a nice warm blanket at hand will keep you snug and cozier than a high heating bill.
  2. Turn the Heat Down, Just A Bit. And since you’re all bundled up anyway, why not drop the thermostat by just a few degrees? Under your sweaters, layers and blankets you won’t feel the temperature difference but you will save you a few precious dollars once that heating bill comes due.
  3. Only Heat the Rooms You Use. Lastly on the home front is making sure that you’re not needlessly heating unused rooms. Close heater vents in unused rooms and then close the door behind you when you leave. Just those two little things will help prevent wasting energy to heat an otherwise empty room.
  4. Use Homemade Cards. Sending cards to friends and family has become a holiday staple, and a costly one at that. Why not save on your card budget by creating your own custom cards on your computer or, if you’re feeling crafty and old fashioned, with construction paper? It’ll save you money and the homemade touch will put a smile on the faces of all your recipients.
  5. Not Everyone Needs A Present. It’s easy to feel that you need to give everyone in your life a gift at this time of year but that quickly becomes a huge burden. The obligation is twofold; when you give someone a gift, they often feel compelled to reciprocate. So why not talk to some of the people with whom you exchange gifts and mutually decide to pass on some of the commercialism this year?
  6. It’s Not How Much You Spend. In the cases where you are going to be buying gifts, remember that it really is the thought that counts. While it’s tempting to feel that a certain cost threshold must be crossed for each gift, that’s simply not the case. Give thoughtfully and you’ll find that the gesture is worth much more than giving expensively.
  7. Sales, Sales, Sales. When you do spend, remember that this is the age of the internet! Check store advertisements and websites for sales and use resources like RetailMeNot.com and GiftCards.com to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
  8. Spread Out Your Spending. During the holiday shopping spree, a spending plan is your friend. If you know what you need to get, you can spread your purchases out over the weeks leading up to gift-giving season, saving yourself from emptying your pockets all at once and maybe spreading yourself too thin.
  9. Host A Game Night. Rather than go out to the movies or a restaurant, why not have your friends and family over for a game night? Boards games are chic again and they can be a great way to have fun with the people closest to you.
  10. Make It A Potluck. And if you’re hosting a party, don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring a dish to share. The financial burden of hosting doesn’t have to fall entirely on you. And while they’re in a holiday mood, your friends and family will surely be willing to contribute to a festive night.