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Christmas: the most wonderful time of the year!
However, it also happens to be the most expensive. Many people find themselves stressed and worried during this holiday season because of how much they’re paying for: decorating the house, buying gifts for friends and family, even simply preparing for Christmas can leave you feeling penniless. Budgeting becomes so important during this time. If you want to do all these things during the holiday season but not spend a great deal of money, take these important budgeting tips into consideration.
Black Friday $ALE$
Although many people hate going out on Black Friday, I guarantee you will not find better deals than Black Friday deals. It can be a crazy and even scary experience, but it’s worth it. Stores have insane deals on clothes, shoes, toys, and anything you can think of. This is prime-time to go Christmas shopping. Any other time things will be way too expensive. Black Friday is the easiest way to get everything you need for Christmas while still sticking to a budget. This year I saved about $300 on gifts by taking advantage of the Black Friday deals. It was extremely nice to have all my Christmas shopping done so early this year, another stress-avoidance benefit to shopping the day after Thanksgiving.
Another important thing most people forget about when it comes to gifting is creativity. Going to the store and buying an expensive, useless gift isn’t your only option. Staying home and making your own gifts can be a fun holiday activity. Not only is this a unique way of gifting, it is cheaper. By making something at home you are saving tons of money.
One of the best gifts I ever received as a Christmas gift was a sweater my grandmother knitted for me. Simple, inexpensive gifts like that can still make someone’s holiday just as much as a more expensive, store-bought gift. Receiving homemade gifts from loved ones feels so much more personal and sentimental as well, especially when you don’t have that person in your life anymore.
Emily Sullivan, a junior at Lafayette High School, spoke to us about her experience with holiday stress. “The whole month of December is always super fun because of all the Christmas festivities we get to do, but when it comes around to getting all my friends and family gifts I slowly start to feel stressed out.” Reflecting on her own spending habits, she said, “I usually spend over $300 on gifts for my family and friends, which is crazy. Christmas is definitely the time I spend the most money.” Would take budgeting during the holidays into consideration? “Yes for sure. I need to learn ways to save money and get gifts for cheaper, and I’m even considering making a few homemade gifts this year in order to save money.”
The holiday season can be rough, but when you add budgeting into the equation you can save yourself anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, not to mention a lot of stress. Budgeting isn’t always an easy thing to do, however it can completely alter your holiday experience. This year, try a few simple changes and see what kind of difference it makes for you. Saving money won’t always be the most important thing, but it will forever be a helpful thing. After all, I don’t think any of us want to go into the new year broke! Homemade or store bought, make your gifts this holiday season the best you can, while staying on your budget.