With the temperature dropping, people are already pulling out their sweaters, pumpkin spice drinks, and gift lists. Along with holiday dreams come holiday expenses, so here are a few ways to start saving money for the upcoming holiday season.
Utilize a savings account.
Fall can be a busy season, where the holidays and associated costs can sneak up on you. Set up an auto-deposit into a separate savings account so it happens without you thinking about it. This is an excellent idea for those who lose track of time or don’t like feeling the crunch right before the celebrations.
Review or create your budget.
You may think you want to spend a certain amount of money, but when you sit down and look at the budget, you may realize the number in your head and the realistic number are different. Sitting with your budget will help you set reasonable expectations for what you want to do next, whether figuring out how much you need to save up or cut back this year. Meeting with a consultant at Armed Forces Bank, can help you look at your budget honestly. They can help you highlight places where you can move money around, reduce expenses, or encourage you to pick up work here and there to tuck away a little bit more money for the holiday season.
Gather your items now.
Many companies start to raise their prices around October, especially around Black Friday, to make you think you’re getting an outstanding deal when you may not be. Even items like Halloween candy or green beans for Thanksgiving can go up as more people start wanting them. Start looking now at what you want to give people as gifts or what you may need and see if there are any deals now. Buying it over time can make it easier instead of having all the costs simultaneously.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Even if being environmentally friendly isn’t high on your list, you can apply this idea to saving money for the holidays. Perhaps you have an old iPhone you can upgrade at a reduced price. You can sell something you no longer use to go towards what you want. Handmade or upcycled gifts are unique and thoughtful. Take it to the next level by utilizing reused gift bags or reusable tote bags instead of splurging on fancy wrapping paper!
Look at what is free.
If you have spider plants or a Pothos plant that keeps growing, you can propagate them and give them out as gifts. Sometimes, more is not more. A thoughtful gift can go a long way, like a book you love that’s been on your shelf for a while, a kind note, a scarf you have loved, or possibly an heirloom you are passing down. If you are nervous about hosting a massive event at your house, ask each person to prep one part of the meal instead of footing the whole bill.
The holidays can be stressful, but they don’t have to be. By thinking ahead now, you will be more relaxed when everybody is around the table, celebrating and reflecting upon the year. May your upcoming holiday season be one of joy, delight, and wonder.
This article is sponsored by Armed Forces Bank, a full-service military bank committed to serving those who served since 1907. Armed Forces Bank provides a vast array of affordable and easily accessible financial products to both active and retired military and civilian clients in all 50 states and across the world. When you’re in the military, your needs are different, and your banking should be too. That’s why no matter where you are stationed in the world Armed Forces Bank strives to make everything from banking solutions to financial advice and personal valuable and convenient for you with numerous services, including online and mobile banking tools to help you bank on your schedule.
Written by Aj Smit
Aj Smit is the author of the book Red Thread: Weaving an Embodied Life of Joy, speaker, glitter enthusiast, and professional weaver of Joy. She is a military spouse in S. Korea with a pup and houseplants galore. Aj has led various Red Tents, retreats, and workshops internationally over the last ten years to help others discover how to weave creativity and curiosity into their lives. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram at @TheJoyWeaver and TheJoyWeaver.com