8 smart ways to save this holiday season

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It’s the season for gift-giving, parties, and parties. It can cost a lot! Read these tips to save money but still have fun this season:

  1. Make a budget

    Budgeting will help you spend only what you can afford.

    • Step one: Make a list of all your expected expenses. For example: Gifts, food, activities (like trips), clothes, and others.
    • Step two: Guess how much each item would cost.
    • Step three: Review the list. See where you can cut-back. Examples: Instead of taking a trip abroad, explore sites in Manitoba instead. Go to three parties instead of five this year.
    • Step four: Make sure that your budget is realistic.
  2. Smart ways of spreading cheer

    • Secret Santa – Don’t buy gifts for everyone in your office. Do a Secret Santa. Write each person’s name on a sheet of paper, fold, and place in a box. Each one pulls out a name and keeps it a secret. You buy a gift for that one person.
    • Potluck party – Each person or family invited to the party brings a dish to share. Ask the young ones in your family to plan games and prizes. You won’t need to worry about food or entertainment.
    • Free activities – Choose cheap or free bonding moments during the holidays. Enjoy hot chocolate while watching a movie at home. Bake together, create holiday crafts, go sledding or tobogganing at the park, go to free community events, or listen to holiday concerts at the mall.
    • New charitable traditions – Bake cookies with your kids to give away to neighbours, volunteer with them at a soup kitchen to serve meals, or at a shelter to prepare care packages. Donate to a clothes drive. Join your ethnocultural organization’s program for the less fortunate in your home country. Make new holiday traditions focusing on giving not receiving.
  3. Don’t use credit

    Use cash as much as possible. It will make you more aware of how much you are spending. When your dollar bills run out, you will stop shopping.

  4. Make gifts

    Make homemade gifts this year. Your gifts will be more personal and heartfelt.

  5. Practise your home country’s holiday traditions

    Do simple traditions to remind you of home. Examples: Make a holiday lantern or an advent wreath, go to mass, or cook traditional food. Choose inexpensive and meaningful activities to teach your kids about their heritage.

  6. Do post-holiday shopping

    Shop after the holidays or on Boxing day. Enjoy discounts and lower prices.

  7. Don’t make the holidays about things

    The holidays are not about toys, gadgets and other things. It is about being with family and friends. Make it more about the experience.

  8. Think ahead to next year

    Save and budget for next year. Start a holiday account to save money every month. Buy from off-season sales for presents.

Enjoy the holidays!
 
Sources: 9 best ways to save money during the holiday season, Jacqueline Curtis, Money Crashers; 11 ways to save during the holiday season, The Everygirl.com. All accessed December 4, 2017.

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