Personal Finance

How to Make the Most of Your Holiday Budget

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Being frugal during the holiday season can be difficult. All of those amazing sales, and so many parties to go to, family to see and friends to spend time with. Never mind that you have a gift list as long as your arm. Although it may seem hard, it is possible to live on a budget during the holiday season. You may not get everything you want, but you can stick to your financial goals if you budget carefully.

Plan Your Spending

Before the holiday season even started, you should have made a list. The earlier you start to budget, the easier it is to save for the things that really count. But late is better than never. Make a list of the things you know you’ve got to do, like hanging out with old friends you seldom see. More often than not, if you’re spending the money to travel for the season, friends and family will understand that you just don’t have a lot of additional money to spend (or perhaps you can spend time with them looking for bargains at post-holiday sales). Don’t underestimate the value of time. Time spent with others is how memories are made.

Prioritize

What do you still need to buy? Who do you really need to buy for? Yes, it can be hard picking out that gift for the person who has everything. If you’re short on time, gift cards or donations in their name are still options.

Make It Yourself

There is nothing wrong with making gifts yourself. Maybe you don’t fancy yourself a crafty person, or you can’t think of anything creative to make. That’s why the Internet, and specifically Pinterest, exist. Just search “homemade holiday gift ideas” and you’ll have more creative crafty ideas than you’ll know what to do with. Besides the fact that DIY is great when you’re on a budget, some people really love receiving a homemade gift. It’s much more personal, and they’ll remember you for it. You can really make some very cool things if you do a little research and find the perfect idea.

Whether you’re on a tight budget, or you just want to find ways to save this holiday season, a little planning — even now — can pay.

Image: iStock

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