The holiday season is in full swing and as your home fills with presents, decorations and lights, the lighter your pockets seem to get. Right?
Who says you have to spend a fortune to be festive? Here are six ways to make the season bright, without bankrupting your bank account.
Put a cap on it: Agree upon a spending cap with each person on your holiday shopping list. This also works when eating out and splitting the bill. Before ordering, decide as a group the max you will each spend on dining. You should also agree to get drinks directly from the bar to avoid increasing the bill for those who don't drink.
Secret Secondhand: Buy refurbished electronics and disguise their non-newness, by repackaging them. One of my friends just bought his girlfriend a refurbished Mac and bought a stylish cover to mask the fact that it came in a plan brown box, that the secondhand Macs come it. He saved $300!
Christmas in January: Ask your friends and family to patiently wait for gifts. Postpone buying and giving gifts until January, when they are all on sale. Maintain the mood by keeping your decorations up and have a potluck-gift exchange with them at your house, to celebrate the holidays in January instead of December.
Souvenir shop at the grocery store: The next time you travel, head to the supermarket. There you will find awesome, yet inexpensive gifts like; authentic local coffee, tea, honey, chocolate and spices. Save them and use them as gifts throughout the year, including the holidays.
Do instead of give: Don't exchange material gifts this holiday season; instead ask your family and friends to exchange acts of kindness. Think 10 hours of free babysitting, five lawn mowings or leaf rakings. Have a significant other? Try giving, three chick-flicks or sports nights to them instead of traditional gifts
Bake instead of buy: If you're known for your cooking, the holidays are a great time to get in the kitchen and save. Give the gift of freshly baked goods and get your festive packaging from a $1 store. Wow your friends and family with fabulous treats while maintaining your frugalness.
See there? It is possible to be frugal, fabulous and festive during the holidays!
Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche