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Clever Ways to Get More Value for Your Money over the Holidays

Christmas is when we not only tend to spend more money compared to any other time of the year, but we are also looking for ways to make our money go the extra mile and not be in debt once the New Year starts. Here are some ways to help stretch your money over the holidays.

Clever Ways to Get More Value for Your Money over the Holidays. Photo of red and gold balls hanging on Christmas tree by Rodion Kutsaiev on Unsplash

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Watch Out for Deals

Deals are the name of the game over Christmas, and with them changing all the time, it can be hard to know when to shop. This is why researching and staying on top of deals is a must if you are looking to save some money.

If you aren’t too fussed about having gifts on Christmas Day, you can wait for Boxing Day washing machine deals or something similar.

Budget

Always set a budget for the holidays. One of the best and easiest ways to save money is to simply not spend it. While this budget can and should be flexible, it should be something you can maintain and still have the Christmas you want.

For example, my kids like to buy each other gifts every Christmas. With five kids buying each other presents, that adds up pretty quickly. I gave them each $5 to spend on each other, or they could pool their money together to buy one bigger gift for their siblings.

Plan Christmas Lunch/Dinner Differently

One way to stretch your money regarding your Christmas lunch or dinner is to plan it differently. Instead of making a plate of everything, find out what your family/guests like and cater to that. This will not only lower waste but also drastically reduce your grocery bill.

Another step you can rethink is the main course. Turkey can be expensive, and considering it almost always doesn’t get finished, replacing it with a chicken or ham is a great money-saving substitute. (Another great idea is to plan ahead by buying your Christmas turkey immediately after Thanksgiving, when they are on sale.)

Ordering groceries online can also be a way to stretch your budget. Shopping online lets you compare prices and choose what’s within your budget more easily. You can plan your Christmas dinner around what’s on sale at the grocery store.

Shop Second-Hand

Second-hand shopping has drastically changed over the past few years. Not only can you find incredible deals, but the quality and condition of goods has also gone up. More often than not, you can find something barely used for a fraction of the original cost.

Sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace are packed with new products being sold at second-hand prices. While this won’t apply to absolutely everything, it will give you a good chance at finding some extraordinary deals.

0% Interest Loans/Credit Cards

If you find yourself needing to take a loan or use credit over the festive season, the best thing you can do is look for credit cards or loans that have 0% interest. If you need to use one of these, there’s a good chance you will need or spend quite a bit money, making the interest and the amount you have to pay back very high.

Wait for the New Year if Possible

One step you can take to save money is to wait until the New Year to make your purchases. Over the Christmas period, many stores will overstock items to ensure they have enough for the rush, but if they don’t sell out, the stores still want to make a profit on them. Because of this, they will often have clearance sales once the new year begins, and you can pick up a few great bargains if you are quick and know where to look.

Quality Gifts, Not Quantity

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that quantity will always be better than quality. Whether it is clothing or toys, one item that will last five years will always beat ten items that only have a lifespan of 6 months.

Because of this, spending the extra money on a more high-quality item will save you money in the long run as you won’t need to replace it for a very long time.

Skip Gift Exchanges

Whether it be your child at school or you or your partner at the office, a common “money pit” over the holiday season is gift exchanges. Not only do you often not have control over what the gift theme should be, but there are also multiple expectations around gift value.

However, one of the best ways to save money on gift exchange is to simply skip them altogether. If you have to participate for whatever reason, you can choose to make something simple and inexpensive, like Christmas cookies or something similar.

Skip, or Tone Down Traditions

Finally, many families have a few Christmas traditions that they have to do each and every year. The one problem with traditions is that twenty or thirty years ago when you first experienced or started them, they were far more affordable. The classic German “Christmas plate” that is overflowing with treats can cost substantially more today than it did a decade ago.

Because of this, when it comes to traditions, rethink how you go about doing them. While skipping them completely is an option, you can also simply adjust and tone them down to ensure they are still there, but affordable. Don’t blow your budget to keep traditions going when there are several more wallet-friendly options.

Clever Ways to Get More Value for Your Money over the Holidays. Photo of iced gingerbread men on a tray by Kelsey Weinkauf on Unsplash

As you can see, there are many ways for you to get more value out of your money during Christmas. The best thing about these steps is that you can still have an amazing Christmas without worrying about all the money you have to spend.

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