How to Enjoy the Holiday Season Without Going Broke
The holiday season is upon us – and all the ads and wintery decorations can pressure people into believing they need to purchase things they can’t necessarily afford. Just the thought of the weeks extending from Thanksgiving to New Year’s can cause anxiety in folks who aren’t exactly rolling in the dough. From buying gifts to attending each party with a bottle of wine in hand, it can be tricky to get through the month without breaking the bank.
It’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed this time of year, yet it doesn’t have to be that way. Noone needs to become a recluse for the entire month of December just because they’re short on cash or saving up for the future. Instead, try viewing this time of year through a different lens, one in which prioritizes relationships, experiences, and events that may not cost anything at all.
Focus on Time with Friends and Family
The holiday season is a great time to spend time with loved ones and celebrate the warmth of togetherness. However, the holiday season can also be a time of stress, especially when it comes to one’s finances. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the season without spending a fortune.
One way to do this is to spend time with family and friends. While the holiday season tends to bring a strong focus on get-togethers with family and friends, even the most casual event might be cause for concern for people who were recently laid off from a job or are already struggling to make ends meet. If that describes you, it’s time to get rid of the idea that you need to splurge on gifts for every place you go. Even a small gesture, something you baked at home, a card, or something colorful can express the holiday spirit. Do you sing or play an instrument? Bring it with you and lead a singalong!
Another savvy money-saving option is to host a holiday party at your home, and ask everyone to bring one thing. This can be a great way to save money on entertainment and food costs. You may even end up with more food and drinks afterward than before. All you have to do is create a warm, inviting space and let your guests do the rest. They will be grateful when they get to leave and you have to clean up.
Attend Free and Low-Cost Christmas Events Open to the Public
There are many other ways to enjoy seasonal activities without spending too many of your hard-earned dollars. There are many possibilities that anyone can enjoy in any part of the country. This year, focus on attending free events in your community. Many cities and towns offer free holiday concerts and performances.
Another idea: take a drive if you live in rural areas and enjoy the scenery after a fresh snowfall. If you have kids, make snow people and snow angels. Talk about the fun ways you used to celebrate as a kid. If you’re in an urban or suburban area, visit the homes with the most holiday decorations, go window shopping and stop by any outdoor Christmas trees. Find out when carolers will be performing – and maybe even join them.
Meanwhile, don’t overlook the little things you can do to feel the holiday spirit. Decorate your home. Invite someone over to listen to holiday music or watch your favorite seasonal flick.
Take Steps to Stay in Control of Your Finances Throughout the Season
Whether you are paying off personal debt or simply trying not to spend money you don’t have, try not to lose sight of your financial health this time of year. Ignore the voices who would pressure you to overspend. It’s still a good idea to pay your bills on time, and using a prepaid debit card instead of a credit card can be a good way to make that happen.
It’s not too soon to start preparing for a financially smart new year, either. Your nearby Community Currency Exchange (CCEA) will have loads of information and services to help you make fiscally wise choices in the future. Check us out online or stop by your nearest location and take advantage of our many convenient services today.
With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.