Holidays are a great opportunity to slow down and spend some quality time with friends and loved ones. Expenses have a way of stacking up in the midst of festivities though, and you might end up realizing that you’ve spent way more than you originally planned. Follow these tips to help you save your hard-earned cash:
Save money on your special Valentine’s Day
- Plan an unusual date – The default Valentine’s Day date of most couples is seeing a movie, and then having dinner at a fancy restaurant afterward. Aside from being cliche, you’ll realize that a lot of movie houses and restaurants fill up quickly on this day. Valentine’s is supposed to be a special moment between lovers, not a hectic struggle for reservations! Try something fun like bowling or ice skating instead. Aside from being more relaxed, these unusual date ideas might actually end up being more fun, at a lower cost.
- Have a romantic dinner at home – Having steak and wine is a great way of spending Valentine’s Day, but it isn’t easy on the wallet. Cooking a steak dinner is much easier than you think, as long as you have some cooking skills. It’s also more intimate to have dinner at home since it’s just you and your partner there, versus a room full of other couples in a restaurant.
- Make DIY gifts for your significant other – Not everyone has a penchant for arts and crafts, but you should consider a DIY Valentine’s Day gift if you have talent in these areas. Paper roses, origami, and photo collages are just a few things you can make for your partner. Not only do you save money, but you also get to give a thoughtful present that could potentially last a lifetime.
Make the most of Memorial Day, 4th of July, & Labor Day
- Have a house party instead of a road trip – A lot of people take road trips during national holidays. Roads and tourist spots tend to be jam packed because of this, so you’ll end up spending a lot of money for gas and not having enough time to enjoy the sights and sounds. Consider planning that road trip for another occasion and hosting a backyard barbecue instead. It’s much more affordable, and you get more bonding time with family and friends instead of getting stuck in traffic.
- Take advantage of sales – A lot of classic items such as snacks, burgers, hot dogs, and chips go on sale during Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the 4th of July. Use this chance to stock up on barbecue essentials!
- Attend free events – There are usually a lot of free community events during these holidays. Have a blast at one of the free parades, concerts, and fireworks displays in your area!
Go DIY for Halloween
- Make your own costume – Buying Halloween costumes should be a last resort unless you want to dress up as a witch every year. It’s much more practical to make your own costumes, especially if you have kids. You can check out our guide on how to make one yourself here.
- Use DIY home decorations – There are a lot of quick, affordable, and easy ways to decorate your house for Halloween. Buying a pumpkin, and then painting and carving it out usually works. White pieces of cloth draped on objects can be used to create ‘ghosts’ around your house. Black curtains are also a Halloween staple and can be created by cutting up black trash bags.
- Hit the thrift stores – If you really have to buy costumes or decorations, consider visiting your local thrift store. They usually have a lot of nice offers in the days leading up to Halloween.
Set limits for spending during Christmas & Hanukkah
- Set price limits on gifts – This is particularly effective when planning gift-giving among family members or friends. Suggesting a price limit doesn’t mean you’re cheap; it only shows that you are a practical spender. It also avoids embarrassing moments such as when someone gives you an expensive bottle of wine, while you only end up giving that person a bar of chocolate.
- Agree on practical gifts – A lot of Christmas presents don’t get used, and end up forgotten in either the basement or attic. It’s much wiser to agree on spending for practical gifts that the recipient will actually end up using, such as socks, notebooks, or watches.
- Avoid spending unnecessarily – A lot of people end up spending more than they expect during the Yuletide season because of Boxing Day sales and other similar events. While shopping holidays could provide opportunities to find great deals, always remember to get only what you need.