The holiday deals have already started. That means holiday spending is underway. Learn seven simple ways to spend smarter this season.
Updated on Nov. 5, 2019
Feeling pressured to give the perfect gift?
It might not be as difficult as you think.
“When I was a kid, it was very much about the gift that was coming out for Christmas that everyone had to have,” said Tammy Wood, relationship development specialist at Dupaco’s Pennsylvania branch in Dubuque, Iowa. “I feel like there is a shift happening now. Gifts are becoming more about what is good for you—and that flows into what is it that we need in life, not what is it that we want all the time.”
If you’re still trying to come up with gift ideas for loved ones, consider Wood’s suggestions that are both budget-friendly and from the heart:
Make your gifts
“There are a lot of people who are really good at doing things, and they need to realize that others would appreciate their talents,” Wood said.
When it comes to gift ideas, let your interests be your guide. If you enjoy using essential oils, consider making a salt scrub and lip balm as part of a home spa package. Love to bake? Head to your kitchen.
“My husband’s grandma would make everyone their favorite dessert,” Wood said.
Give the gift of time
If you’re a parent, you know how quickly toys can overtake a home.
“People now are really to the point where they’re over the stuff,” Wood said.
If you’re in that camp, consider sharing a meaningful experience with the ones you love. Experiential gifts don’t have to be expensive.
“With our nieces and nephews, we have started trying to have them over to do stuff together,” Wood said. “It can be as simple as having them over for a night, making slime and having a movie night. You’re making time for them, and they know it’s their special time with you.”
Delay gift giving
With shoppers planning to spend an average of $967 during the holiday season, there’s no doubt this is an expensive time of year. If it would help to spread the spending dollars out a bit, consider delaying gift-giving with some circles until after the holidays. Many families do so already due to busy schedules.
“A lot of sales happen after Christmas, and you would be able to take advantage of those,” Wood said.
If you want to spend more on an experiential gift, you can simply delay the experience, she suggested.
“Maybe you want to bring them to an indoor water park,” she said. “You can schedule it out to spread your costs out over time.”
Plan ahead for next year
It’s easy to fall into a cycle of taking out a small loan for holiday spending and repaying that debt after the holidays. Break the cycle by opening a Holiday Club savings account now so you can start automatically putting away money for next year.
“When it comes to the holidays, planning is even more important. With a Holiday Club, you plan for that time where you’re going to spend more money. It’s hard to avoid,” Wood said. “You make the plan, and then you can spend the money guilt-free.”