Saving for the holidays and a home might seem like a challenging task to take on, but with a few key strategies, you can confidently save for both this season! Check out this recent Trulia article by Kali Hawlk, and learn five money-saving tips to help you this holiday season.
1. Communicate openly with friends and family
Saving for a house is a big undertaking. People understand it takes a lot of work, discipline, and focus to fund a down payment and afford the home you want. One way to make the holidays more affordable is simply to communicate with friends and family and let them know you’re working toward this savings goal. Explain that, financially, you can’t handle going all-out this holiday season if you want to stay on track with your home-buying plans. You can ask to do something different to celebrate if the usual is an extravagant gift exchange. People who understand and support you may need only that gentle reminder to agree.
And if you run into opposition from relatives who feel you can’t enjoy the holidays without presents, be prepared to suggest alternatives. You can offer to arrange an experience for everyone to enjoy together, like coordinating a family outing that’s either free or inexpensive — with everyone who participates paying their own way.
2. Find inexpensive ways to participate in the season of giving
Sometimes, there’s no way of entirely escaping the obligation to buy gifts during the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you need to go crazy and splurge on lavish presents at the expense of your goal to save for a home. Consider some festive ideas that will allow you to participate without blowing your budget.
For example, you could suggest Secret Santa gift exchanges (with a maximum spending limit) among your social groups, instead of buying presents for every family member, friend, and coworker you know. Or you could bake and give cookies, treats, and other holiday sweets. Also consider redeeming credit card rewards and points to obtain gifts instead of using cash.
[Read the full article here]
3. Shop sales and search out coupons
The ideas above might work for some of the recipients on your gift-giving list this season. But you probably have only so many reward points to cash in, and it simply may not be appropriate to give your boss a box of homemade cookies and call it a day. If you can’t get away with this kind of gift, you may need to head to the store to buy a pricier item. But that doesn’t mean you need to pay full price.
This might take more time than simply heading straight to your favorite store, but shopping strategically can help you get gifts at lower prices. Sign up for mailing lists from retailers you want to frequent, so you catch flash sales and coupons in your inbox. (Then unsubscribe to avoid further spending temptation after you finish your holiday shopping!)