5 Ways to Save Money for the Holidays

Friday, December 23, 2022

Now that the holiday season is here, you don’t want to feel like the Grinch. However, with the economy in the doldrums, overspending could do more harm than good, leaving you to pick up the pieces in 2023. 

This year, holiday spending on gifts is predicted to fall by more than half vs. year-ago levels due to the challenging economic environment. The clothing and footwear categories are expected to see the biggest declines as consumers show more reluctance to part with their hard-earned money. This is for a reason.  

Fortunately, there’s a way to strike a balance and defend your finances against the common traps that so easily ensnare people. Here are five ways to help you save money this holiday season. 

1.     Put Yourself First 

No matter how long your holiday list is this year, be sure and include yourself at the top. While it may be the season of giving, you’re not doing yourself any favors if you struggle to pay your bills or fail to sock away any savings for a rainy day. Contrary to popular belief, taking care of your personal finances first is unselfish. It is one of the most generous things you can do for yourself and your future before giving to others. 

2.      Don’t Buy What You Can’t Afford 

A book that sums it up entitled “Don’t Buy What You Can’t Afford” sums it up. It details how debt has become a way of life in America, with millions of households saddled with credit card debt and expensive loans. It’s a quick read that the author, James Obvious, suggests is short enough to finish while your coffee is brewing but powerful enough to place you on the path to financial freedom. 

If you don’t buy what you can’t afford, you can help break the cycle of debt in your life — even during the holidays. You might even want to get this mini-book as a stocking stuffer for those on your list. 

3.       Give What They Need 

With prices soaring and interest rates rising, many people are feeling the pinch this year. That’s why it is the perfect time to give those on your holiday list something they need instead of what they want.  Consider giving practical gifts that save you money and go a long way for people who may be hurting financially, such as a gift card to a grocery store or do-it-yourself home improvement retailer. 

4.     Give Your Time

Speaking of DIY retailers, you might offer your time to help a friend or loved one finish a project in their home or garage. Or you could volunteer to watch the kids or do some pet sitting to make their lives easier. Time is still a valuable commodity that could go further than spending money on a gift.

5.    Cash Is Still King  

If you have trouble keeping track of your spending, choose one payment method this holiday season: cash. By allocating a set amount of funds, say $500, available to spend for the holidays, you won’t have to worry about breaking your budget. When the cash runs out, so too should your spending. To shop online, purchase a prepaid card at a big-box retailer for a designated amount and pay for it in cash. 


With the clock winding down in 2022, create a strategy for your holiday spending this year. Otherwise, you could find yourself falling for one of the many traps out there designed to get you to open your wallet wider than you had planned.

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