How to Save Costs Over the Holidays {guest post}

With the Christmas break coming up, it’s easy to get flustered about costs on top of all the organizing and decorating. It’s a time of good cheer and giving but sometimes there are just too many gifts to give, so much food to buy and so many bills to pay that it can all get a little overwhelming.
But we have a few pointers on how to save on those costs over the holidays, starting with the gifts. Keeping in mind that it’s “the thought that counts”, don’t commit to spending too much money on each person, it’s okay to set a budget and its actually beneficial for you to know that you have a set amount because you can then be smart about your spending. My next tip is to set this budget early; the earlier you know who you are buying for and how much you are spending, the earlier you can keep your eye out for the right gift and be frugal about your spending. Buying gifts online is a great way to save money, but you have to get started early for them to be delivered on time, so organization is key.
You can also make your own gifts for your friends and family, and this again requires a bit of organization depending on what it is. If you’re like me and you enjoy sewing and stitching away, these crafts can take a little bit of time and may need to be started earlier in the year. If you enjoy cooking, baking a delicious batch of shortbreads in Christmas shapes or making some preserves and jams are a great gift. Made deliciously cute with your own mason jars and cloth coverings, anyone would be happy with a gift like that!
Aside from gifts, other stresses that add to the financial burden of Christmas are energy bills and food. Like with gifts, being prepared with the Christmas food is a good idea. Buy perishables early, and as the day approaches, buy your meats but keep them in the fridge or freezer depending on how early you buy them. Prices always go up closer to Christmas because people are in crisis mode and retailers know that they will fork out the extra cash just to have it.
Energy bills also become an issue as they often come at the most inopportune time. When you want and need to be spending on your Christmas preparations, you owe hundreds on energy bills. To keep the costs low, make sure you check a cost comparison site like Save Central to make sure you are taking advantage of the best deal for you.
Preparing for the holidays isn’t so hard with a little bit of forethought and organization. Forget your worries and enjoy Christmas again!
Ivy works in marketing for a financial planning organization that help people maintain and deal with their costs over stressful periods.

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