If you still have holiday shopping, parties, and travel to plan and spend for, chances are anxiety will set in at some point. If you are feeling overwhelmed, one way to help reduce your stress is to see where you can cut costs. If you’re looking for ways to save in the coming weeks, use the Military Saves theme to help you save this holiday season: Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically.
Set a Goal: Set a budget and stick to it. Decide how much you want to spend on each gift for each person on your gift list, and stick to that amount. Remember, it’s the thought that counts, and spending more than you plan means more debt in the New Year.
Make a Plan: Skip dining out and the movie theater. You can save big by skipping the takeout and/or fancy restaurant dinners for a week or two. Taking your lunch to work, buying quick frozen meals for dinner, and taking advantage of holiday parties can all save you a little cash during the holiday season. Another way to slash costs is to limit your entertainment spending. To take a family of four to the movies, it costs about $40 plus the costs of snacks - which can add an extra $20 or more. That’s $60 for one trip to the movies! Save money by renting movies or even better, check out the many holiday movies that network and cable channels broadcast throughout December.
Save Automatically: Pay yourself first. Each payday until the holidays end, set aside 5-10 percent of your paycheck to use for holiday gifts, groceries and travel. You may end up saving more than you actually need, and with money you save, you can start an emergency fund for the New Year.
For more tips on how to save this holiday season, check out some of Military Save’s recent blog posts:
Don’t forget about America Saves Week, taking place Feb. 24 - March 1 2014. Sign up today to Set a Goal, Make a Plan and Save Automatically!