Now that Halloween is behind us, there is no denying it, we have entered into the holiday season. This can be a challenging time for consumers as we tend to overspend. November is also Financial Literacy Month. Many Canadians still struggle with debt and a recent national Ipsos Reid survey revealed that 6 in 10 Canadians say they need help with their financial management skills. I have to admit that I always tend to overspend during the holiday season so I thought it might be helpful to share these tips and ideas on ways to help stay on budget and save a little money this year.
Consider setting a holiday budget – and stick to it!
I found this neat Holiday Budgeting Calculator on the Practical Money Skills Canada site that tells you approximately what your spending limit should be. All you do is enter your gross annual income and click “calculate”. This also leads you to a Holiday Spending Calculator which gives you a breakdown of what you might expect to spend during the holiday season. If your spending is greater than your budgeting, it is a good idea to see where you can cut down.
Shop with a list
If you decide you want to buy something for someone this holiday season, write out a list of what you need to get. This will help you stick to the necessary items and avoid impulse purchases.
Make vs. buy
Consider baking a gift rather than buying it (maybe bag up a batch of your delicious almond bark as a nice giveaway for a coworker or a teacher?). If you plan ahead, you can buy some of your ingredients now when they are on sale. Butter can easily be frozen and ingredients such as flour, vanilla and sugar will keep until you’re ready to use them.
Re-use gift bags or wrapping paper
This tip is a no-brainer that saves money and is environmentally friendly. If you are in need of wrapping materials consider using the Sunday comics or colourful pages of a magazine.
Do you have any tips for me around saving money this holiday season? Share it with everyone on our Facebook page.