Everyone loves the holidays, as it’s a chance to get together with loved ones and have a good time. But having fun can be an expensive experience when you’re spending out on food, drink, parties, evenings out, accommodation, plane tickets, outfits, gifts … you could almost get bankrupt just trying to keep up! If you want to avoid a financial hangover once you reach the end of the festivities, being sensible with your spending can help. Here are some tips to help you save during the holidays:
Is your home too small for guests? If you want to host a family gathering or entertain a large group of friends, it could offer far better value if you pick and rent a condo in the metro using Zipmatch, rather than paying for expensive hotel accommodation. Condos can be surprisingly economical for large groups, and it will work out cheaper per person per night than booking into hotels.
Entertain at home
You can, however, have parties at home. Just don’t annoy the neighbors by making too much noise (you could always invite them to be part of the celebrations!). Guests will be happy to contribute dishes and bring drinks so that you don’t have to spend a fortune or spend all day preparing food.
Book travel and accommodation in advance
Booking in advance means that you can benefit from the best deals on travel and accommodation, especially if you have plans for the holidays. Leave it too late and you’ll pay more for your plane ticket, or have fewer apartments and tours to choose from.
The fact is that we spend too much on gifts and buy them for people we aren’t really close to. A thoughtfully chosen gift will mean much more than an expensive one, so you don’t need to spend a lot. You can also save a lot of money by restricting your gift-buying to close friends and family only – people at work or distant relatives will probably be relieved if they don’t have to buy a gift for you either!
As well as booking transport and accommodation in advance, you can also save money if you plan ahead with other aspects of the holidays. Start a savings account for all your holiday expenses, so that you’ve got enough put aside to pay for everything even before the season starts. Also buy gifts in sales – but don’t buy just for the sake of it.
Set a budget
One way to sabotage your finances over the holidays is to fail to set a limit on your spending. Draw up a budget and don’t go over it. Decide how much you can afford to spend on food, entertainment, travel, gifts and other expenses.
Do you really need a new outfit for every party? No, you don’t! Mix and match items in your wardrobe to make ‘new’ outfits. And if you must have something you haven’t worn before, search for bargains on Ebay and other online stores rather than working your way through retail brand outlets.