Holiday spending can be a budget buster. Expenses are numerous: presents, wrapping paper, food, travel and more―and you don’t want to disappoint. However, if you’re short on funds, there’s no need to despair. With a little DIY creativity you’ll get through the holidays―without draining your account.
Why spend $75 to buy a scarf if you can knit it yourself with $15 of yarn? If you have a knack for crafts, making your own gifts is a great way to save, since supplies usually cost less than the finished product. Not only can homemade gifts be cheaper, but many people appreciate their personal touch more than store-bought presents. Don’t know your way around a glue gun? A framed photo goes a long way.
Wrap with re-purposed items
Skip the fancy paper and bows, and look around the house to see what you can use. Do you have a newspaper? The comic section works well as it provides a little color. Pro tip: psychologically when people get something in fancy wrapping paper, this hypes up their expectations of the gift. By using less than “Gucci” wrapping paper, they expect less and are more likely to be pleasantly surprised by the gift. Meanwhile, cheap craft supplies such as glitter and paint can be used to decorate plain surfaces.
Cut card costs
Holiday cards are a great way to stay in touch, but the costs add up. It is not uncommon for store cards to cost $4 each—or more. If you sent cards to 20 people, that would cost you $80, not including postage. Creating your own cards can help you save, but resist the temptation to buy the pricey supplies that pepper the scrapbook aisles of craft stores. Another option? Create and send cards electronically, and don’t spend a dime.
Hang up homemade decorations
Like gift-wrapping, you can use household items for decorations. Making a garland out of popcorn is a classic holiday decoration. Pine cones and acorns—available in abundance in many parts of the country—provide a perfect seasonal touch. If you are really craving store-bought decorations, consider waiting until after the holidays to buy. Most stores will be selling them at a deep discount, and you can use them next year.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a good time. By being creative with your purchasing, you can afford to celebrate during the holidays, and afterwards as well.
Sneak In Some Savings
Your Credit Union has a couple of effortless ways to make sure you have plenty of funds available for all your holidays moving forward. With our Holiday Club, you set up small automatic deductions – you don’t even notice they are done – throughout the year that add up with healthy interest. By the time the holidays arrive your budget is all there! It’s an awesome feeling. Need a bit extra cash? Round It Up is a program that automatically rounds up every Credit Union Debit Card purchase to the nearest dollar. The difference is moved into a savings account. You’ll accumulate a nice stash that can cover any last minute, or unexpected holiday spending needs. Now all that’s left is to enjoy the holidays!