Financially Preparing For The Holidays
As we approach the end of the year, the focus starts to shift to celebrations and everything else that comes with the holiday season. Stores will become crowded, weekends will fill up with parties and gatherings, and quality time spent with family will be abundant. However, the holidays would not be complete without the added stress of planning, shopping, and traveling.
There are so many things to prepare and purchase during this time of year: Flights must be booked, food needs to be prepared, and gifts need to be purchased. With all these added expenses that pop up during this time of year, it’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle of the season without a solid plan in place. Luckily, here at Landmark National Bank, we want to offer advice on how to save yourself some money during the holidays.
Ways To Save Money This Holiday Season
Whether you are the one hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah, or you’re the one traveling to all the parties, there are some expenses to plan for and keep in mind. When you host a party, you will be taking frequent trips to the grocery store each week for food and decorations that will start to take a toll on your wallet. To help you not take a huge hit all at the same time, try purchasing non-perishables a little at a time so you aren’t buying everything all at once.
If you have family in other parts of the country or in other countries altogether, you will have to worry about the high price of plane tickets. Anyone who has ever had to travel during the holidays knows how expensive it can be. One way to save is to buy your tickets before the end of October. Holiday tickets are much cheaper during this time than they are in November and December. The sooner you purchase your tickets, the better off you are.
However, even if you save on food and plane tickets, buying gifts for everyone in your family is still fairly costly. Setting a budget, saving on electric costs, and getting creative with your gifts can help you not break the bank this holiday season.
Set a Gift Budget
The most important rule is to set a gift budget early. However, it can be hard to know how much to spend on Christmas gifts. Many recommend spending $50 to $100 on family and $20 to $50 on friends. However, this all depends on your budget and how much you can realistically spend without dipping into savings or sacrificing on essentials. Make a list at the start of November of how many people you have to buy for, and then determine a budget from there.
Cut Down on Electric Costs
One of the biggest drains on your wallet during the winter months is your electricity bill. While this cost is unavoidable, there are some ways you can save money on your electric bill in the winter while still keeping warm. Some things to check around your home include:
- Make sure your vents aren’t covered by furniture
- Check the insulation
- Weatherstrip your doors and windows
- Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning clockwise
- Don’t leave doors or windows open
You can also utilize a smart thermostat so you can set it at a lower temperature while no one is in your home. Unplugging appliances and electronics while they aren’t in use can cut down on energy costs as well. Lastly, make sure to put Christmas lights on a timer to avoid accidentally leaving them on all night and wasting energy.
Get Creative With Gifts
The last thing you can do to save a bit of cash is get creative with gift-giving this year. If you are particularly crafty, DIY your gifts for friends and family. A personalized gift will hold much more meaning than something bought from a store. You can also suggest a Secret Santa with your friend group so you are only buying one gift rather than a bunch. There are plenty of ways to still gift your friends something nice and meaningful without spending too much.
Set Your Holiday Budget at Landmark National Bank
There is no need to go into debt due to holiday expenses. At Landmark National Bank, we want to set you up for success. Our savings accounts allow you to earn interest on your money so you can save even more this holiday season. Or, open a Smart Money or Signature checking account to earn interest on your everyday spending money. Open an account at your local Landmark National Bank today!