“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”! Oh, I just love the holiday season. It’s like there’s something in the air!
The twinkling lights, the Christmas trees, snow (depending on where you are), it’s all so magical!
While it’s fun to enjoy the energy that comes around the holidays, it’s also easy to let your budget get out of control!
The holiday season goes hand in hand with spending, but if you’re intentional and wise about it, you can stretch your dollar and make it work for you.
I’m sharing 5 ways to stretch your dollar through all the seasonal festivities that comes our way during the holiday time of year!
5 Ways to Stretch Your Dollar Through All the Seasonal Festivities
#1 Shop in your pantry
One of our mantras in the CGS Facebook Group is “I have food at home!” This holiday season, make it a point to shop in your pantry before going to the grocery store or giving gifts!
Use the ingredients you have on hand for meal preparation. You can even gift food items that you haven’t used or don’t plan on using.
Not only does shopping in your pantry help you keep your dollars in your wallet, but it allows you to use everything you’ve got…just in time for a new year!
Stretch your dollar and get the most out of your items on hand by scoping out the pantry before spending money on food items!
#2 Don’t be afraid to “re-gift” gifts
I’ll be the first one to admit I do this and don’t feel bad about it! One year, I had bought myself a perfume set. Come the holiday season, I ended up getting the exact same set as a gift.
Instead of having 2 of the same perfumes, I re-gifted the gift set! There’s nothing wrong it with, and it helps you save money!
If you received gifts you know you wont use, or gifts that those in your life would enjoy more than you, give them away!
Just make sure you don’t give it back to the original giver. That may be a little embarrassing to explain!
Would you rather not re-gift? Give those old gifts to charity! If you donate to Goodwill or other charities during the holiday season, that could be a great place to let the gifts go and get to a new home.
#3 Pick up an extra shift or two
There’s no better way to stretch your dollar than by making more dollars! While the holiday season can be a crazy time of the year, if you have the time and capacity to make some extra money…take it!
This could also help you as you create your holiday budget. Service based jobs, especially around the holidays, can help you bring in a lot more cash via tips!
Everyone (well, mostly everyone) is in a “giving” mood and that translates into more money in your pockets. Consider Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Postmates or other delivery and courier service options!
Retail is also an industry that picks up over the holidays. If you’re looking for something seasonal and temporary, consider working part-time at your favorite retail stores.
If you spend money there on the regular, you can get discounts for being an employee!
#4 Request cash or gift cards as your presents
Unless I have a specific gift in mind that I need or want, my go-to gift request is always cash or gift cards to stores I regularly spend money.
Last year, I got over $75 worth of Starbucks gift cards that I was able to use all through January. That helped me come in under budget in my Dining Out category!
I love getting work done at my local Barnes and Noble. The year before last, I got Barnes and Noble gift cards that helped fund those day trips!
My point is that you can stretch your dollar by requesting cash or gift cards to stores you frequent.
This may not result in savings during the holiday season, but I can result in savings shortly after…when your budget likely needs it the most!
#5 Remind yourself that debt from the holidays is not worth it
Rounding out our list of ways to stretch your dollar through all the seasonal festivities is by reminding yourself that holiday spending debt is SO not worth it.
Whether you’re going into debt for yourself or for others, it’s never a good idea. Not only do you feel guilty once the holiday season is over, you’re cleaning up the mess for months to come.
I might add that those who care about you wouldn’t want you to go into debt just so you can give them nice gifts. Ask yourself why you feel you need to spend so much to give to others.
Check out 5 Reasons Not to Go Into Debt During the Holidays for some more reasons to keep it debt-free this (and every) holiday season.
Related: 8 Ways to Save More During the Holiday Season
I encourage you to take any chance you have to save money and stretch your dollar through all the seasonal festivities! I want you to end the holiday season on a financial high note and give yourself a nice head start moving into the new year!
Do you have any tips or tricks for stretching your dollars around the holidays? How do you save money or stick to your holiday budget? Share your experience and tips by posting a comment below!