5 Ways to Soften the Financial Impact of the Holidays

Posted by 20 November, 2008

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The holidays are a fun time. This is the time of year that we make our trips to go visit friends and family and catch up on the past year. This is also a time of year that people tend to spend quite a bit on gifts. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can soften the impact to your pocket book.

  1. Draw names – In the situation of large family gatherings, instead of buying gifts for all of your family members, draw names. When you draw names, you are only responsible for buying a present for the person drawn as opposed to buying presents for the entire family. This will limit the number of presents bought by everyone and save everybody a good bit of coin.
  2. Make gifts – This most likely will not appeal to the modern day American, but hear me out. Do you think a gift card that I spent absolutely no time or thought would be more appreciated than a hand written letter? In the letter, you could express how much you appreciate what they’ve done for you. J.D. at Get Rich Slowly also has a great list of gifts you can make yourself.
  3. Escrow – My wife and I really don’t get each other gifts for Christmas. It seems like other family members pretty much take care of that. Having said that, we do spend some money on other family members and Angel Tree kids. To soften the financial blow, we basically escrow the money in an ING account. Since this February, we’ve been putting back $20 per week into our account. I just looked and we have $673.08! Perhaps this is a little more of a little less than what you typically spend. If so, just alter the weekly amount deposited into your ING account. I’m sure there are many other options for banks, but we’ve found ING to be really easy to use.
  4. Take Advantage of Circuit City Store Closings – Circuit City is closing 155 stores nationwide. There can be great deals found at many store closing sales. If you have an electronics need, it may be worth your time to take a look and see if you can score a great deal.
  5. Don’t Give Gifts at All – Why not show your generosity by spending time at a homeless shelter serving meals or visiting a retirement home to spend time with people who may not get many visitors. You could get the whole family in on the activity. While it may be hard for some to believe, you can get much more long term satisfaction out of community service than spending your money on more material things.
    Photo by Kris Decurtis

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Additional Posts:

Life is Like an Etch-A-Sketch
Frugalicious?
Three Essentials for a Banana Free Living
Interview: Live Work Dream.com


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Categories : Frugality,Personal Finance Tags : ,

Comments
December 30, 2008

These are some spot-on ways to soften the impact of Holiday spending. Nice work.

J.

Posted by J. Carlton Ford
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