Holiday Budgeting Tips

holiday budgetingIt’s almost the end of the year…can you believe it? This year seems to have flown past. While I love this season and the fun and family time it brings, I’m going to give it to you straight. It’s EXPENSIVE.

Moving out is often a big rite of passage, which means your parents and family (hopefully) view you are more of an adult than they ever have before. And that (unfortunately?) means it’s time to act like one! Instead of relying on others to find and buy gifts for family and friends, take initiative and do what you can to make your loved ones feel special.

Again…this can get expensive.

But, there are some easy ways to save money around this time, and by starting right now you can still get ahead!

  • Save! ($25-50+ per week)

First and foremost strategy is moving money into your savings account each month. By moving it out of checking (or depositing cash into the bank), you remove expendable income and can start building your holiday savings. Try eating in instead of going out, and skip on your expensive special coffee a few times a week to start off.

  • Take advantage of free food ($15-20 per week)

One of my favorite parts of this time of year is that my family spends a ton of time together, usually over a big dinner. Take advantage of these invitations! Instead of eating out or ordering takeout, go to that work holiday party or family dinner. Not only will you score bonding time with some of your favorite people, but you can put the money you would have spent on food right into your savings!

  • Limit travel (variable $)

Travel can be one of the most expensive parts of the holidays, with airline tickets skyrocketing. If you know you have to travel for Christmas or New Year’s, try to book your flight way in advance, and limit other travel in the next month to save some cash. Instead of taking a weekend trip right before the holidays, plan it for February when you can recoup your finances.

  • Spend quality time, not money ($20+ per week)

It’s easy to get caught up in doing different (expensive) activities, especially when you have out-of-town guests. But the truth is that everyone probably just wants to enjoy time together! From baking cookies and watching movies in your apartment with friends to exploring holiday lights or taking a brisk walk in the city. Instead of hitting the movie theater, host a potluck dinner with friends and family or start a movie night at your place!

  • Black Friday & Cyber Monday (endless $$!)

When it comes to actual holiday shopping, take advantage of deals offered this season! Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales grow each year, so search the advertisements in advance and scoop up different items at a huge discount.

Your first holiday season in your new apartment is an exciting time! Enjoy it! Offer your apartment for family/friend dinners and activities and get the most out of your new place. Any other ideas to build up savings before the end of the year? Let me know!

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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