Have a Joyful Holiday Season Without Breaking the Bank
The holiday spending season is already in full swing. With all of the dazzling advertisements that will surely be shoved in our faces over the next two months, it could be really easy to buy all the hype and fall headfirst into the spending trap. After all, that fuzzy feeling of watching our loved ones smile as they open our gifts can be quite addicting. Still, the holidays are a lot more joyful if we’re not weighed down with financial worries after the fact.
Following these tips will help make your holidays festive without being a financial mess:
Plan ahead. Hopefully, you’ve had an idea of what you want to buy for a while now and you’ve been putting savings aside for several months. If you haven’t, start right now by determining your budget, then stick to it. Create a list of wants and needs. If there’s something you want that will make you go over budget, don’t buy it.
Santa makes a list…you should too. Shopping for sales can be a great way to save money. However, they can also lure you into impulse buying. So start the season out by making a list of family members, friends, and neighbors you’d like to give gifts to and gift ideas for each of them, then search the sales based on that list. If an item for sale isn’t on your list, don’t buy it. Another great way to avoid impulse buying is to do as much of your shopping online as you can. That way, you can easily compare prices from site to site and find the best deals without battling holiday shopping crowds, weather or traffic. For even more savings, shop with Melaleuca’s online retail partners. See page 36 for details.
Go and do. You don’t have to spend money to make this time of year special. Look back on your favorite holidays past, and what do you remember? It won’t be the new purse or necklace you got. It will be the time you spent with those you love. Try sledding, building snowmen, and making paper snowflakes with the kids. Attend free community concerts, tree-lighting ceremonies, extended family game nights and neighborhood parties. These are all great ways to make lasting holiday memories without spending a ton of money.
Avoid debt. Nothing wipes away those joyful holiday memories quicker than seeing a credit card bill in January. Studies have shown that when shopping with plastic, consumers spend up to 50% more on impulse purchases. And steer clear of those sneaky layaway plans retailers use to entice shoppers. They may be interest-free to start (miss a payment and you’ll be dinged with penalties), but they’re just another form of incurring debt. Whatever you purchase this holiday season, purchase it with the cash you know you have today, not the money you think you’ll have tomorrow.
Increase your income. If you’re willing to work for it, there are all sorts of opportunities to bring in some extra cash during the holidays allowing for more holiday spending. A lot of businesses need and advertise for seasonal help. However, as a Melaleuca Marketing Executive, you already have the perfect way to earn as much extra income as you’d like and loosen a tight budget.