All Articles

Saving Money for the Holidays

Author: Isaac Ehlers | Image: Isaac Ehlers

Although Thanksgiving hasn’t even passed, the holidays are fast approaching and many are gearing up for their holiday shopping. Between decorations, gifts, and other expenses, the holidays can take a toll on your finances if you don’t plan carefully. Overspending may leave you feeling like a Grinch long after December 25th! Avoid debt troubles and start saving for this holiday season by keeping these budgeting tips in mind. 

Tips for saving money for the holidays

1. Put yourself on a budget and monitor it

When making money, it is important to put away the extra from the part-time jobs, gifts or babysitting, rather than spending it. It will add up and make a difference down the road. Then, once the holidays have arrived, it will be easier to dip into that extra savings when needed. Review your budget to determine exactly how much you will be able to spend on each person on your list. Implementing a savings plan into your budget ahead of time for your holiday gifts can make all the difference. If you do use your credit card during the holidays, be sure to have a plan in place to pay off the balance in a timely manner.

2. Cut out nonessential spending

To save money and not spend on the nonessential things, think about what you could go without. The extra money you spend on coffee/coffee shops, eating out, Target and shopping trips for unnecessary items, etc. It is tempting to buy something for yourself too while holiday shopping but try to resist the urge! You can always add it to your wish list.

3. Look around

When shopping around for essential purchases, look for the deals to ensure you are getting the best ones. With Cyber Monday approaching, don’t forget to price check before you commit to buying. You may find that certain household appliances and other goods are usually listed much cheaper on Amazon or other sites. Also, check your inbox for coupons and deals coming up because who wants to pay full price for anything? 

4. Extra cash

If you are looking to get more spending money during the holidays, get a part-time job. Iowa State employers post job listings on the student job board as well as employers near campus. This is a great way to make extra money and build your savings. Consider selling the things you don’t need. Selling some of your belongings is a great way to find extra cash last minute for your gift fund. Take advantage of this opportunity to do a little decluttering.

5. Pay for essentials first

Always pay for your necessities first, then put a portion into your savings account. Your holiday budget should be determined by how much money you have left after paying all your other monthly priorities, like rent, bills, and savings.

6. DIY while there is still time

Some of the most meaningful gifts are homemade gifts. They’re not expensive but certainly can take time. If you have a crafty talent or hobby, such as knitting or scrapbooking, you could create gifts for at least a few of the people on your list. These gifts are more likely to show how much you care and are more personable!