How To Trim Your Holiday Spending and Expenses

Family celebrating Christmas

How To Trim Your Holiday Spending and Expenses

For better or worse, the holidays are a time of year that many of us get swept up into. The downside to the holidays is our tendency to overspend in comparison to previous years.

Cutting back on your holiday spending now will likely set up a more positive financial journey in the new year, and your holidays can still be just as happy (and perhaps even happier) as they’ve ever been without spending as much.

In this article, we’ll cover a few tips on trimming your holiday spending and expenses, emphasizing trimming. You don’t have to cut everything out, but you can cut things down, starting with the amount of money you spend and the credit card bill.

1. Plan Ahead With a Dedicated Holiday Budget

First and foremost, if you want to cut down on spending this holiday season, you’ll liken your chances of staying below your spending threshold with a budget.

Creating a budget before you delve into your holiday shopping will help you avoid overspending, as you’ll have a clear and definitive amount on what you’d like to spend on specific people. It’ll also contribute to sticking to your overall budget.

A simple way to create a budget is by setting a fixed amount for every person you intend to spend, with a little extra aside for additional expenses or supplies.

Being realistic when budgeting helps tremendously. It’s important to remember this is easily one of the most expensive times of the year, considering that beyond gift purchases, there’s food, drinks, and other expenses to account for more. The more detail and accounting in your budget, the more legroom you will have.

2. Get Creative and Crafty with Handmade Gifts

You’ve probably heard this before, but using the holidays as a time to explore your creativity and craftiness is fun and bound to save you money. After all, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Some cost-effective gift ideas include:

  • Artwork
  • Baked goods
  • Used or repurposed gifts
  • Preservatives
  • Handmade knitwear

The list above includes some of the many low-cost gift ideas that you can utilize this year.

If making things isn’t your forte, seek independent businesses, artists, or other creative types to help you meet your gift-giving needs.

3. Consider a more modest affair

Who isn’t occasionally surprised after a trip to the grocery store is during the holiday season?

When you consider food, drinks, décor, gifts, and more, a trip to the grocery store almost always comes with a heftier than usual bill.

Consider scaling down your huge dinners, celebratory drinks, and fancy decorations to cut down on your holiday spending.

A more modest affair doesn’t have to be any less special. It could make it even more special to focus less on the material aspects of your celebrations.

Making things yourself doesn’t hurt either. While taking things into your own hands is time-consuming, it goes without saying that making things from scratch is inexpensive (and, arguable, better tasting).

4. Take Advantage of Coupons, Deals, and Spending Products

Whether you’re shopping online or in-store this year, it never hurts to seek out deals that are available before purchasing anything beforehand.

Whether it’s sales, specialized discounts, coupons, or rewards points, there’s always something out there that can help you save some cash on your gifting spree.

Revising your current expenses to see if there is any wiggle room for saving is a must when holiday shopping.

That said, banking products can help you accomplish this as well. Preloadable rewards credit cards such as KOHO and the PC Money Account are free to use and offer their cardholders a rewards program that can earn some serious cash back—without the fees or month-end bill.

5. Embrace a New Tradition

There are plenty of gift-giving traditions that can cost less than your usual holiday budget if you commit to starting a new one.

Non-traditional gift-giving practices like Secret Santa or White Elephant are great alternatives that require less spending and minimizing the gift giving process.

Plus, you can set a spending limit per gift too to level the playing field.

6. Talk About the Holidays with Your Loved Ones

Possibly the most important thing you can do when it comes to trimming holiday expenses is to have a frank and honest conversation with your loved ones about their expectations for the holidays.

Everyone involved should do their best to be on the same page budget-wise to ease the stress that comes with the holiday season.

It might seem nerve-wracking to bring up a spending limit or ideas for new traditions, but it’s honestly more than worth it to chat with your gift receivers about holiday expectations.

With these tips, you will have a happy and affordable holiday season, so long as you stick to a budget and focus on the things that truly matter.