Even if you are in a debt relief program and watching your budget, you can still enjoy the holidays. It is early enough so that you can start getting ready little by little now, instead of spending a lot of money at one time closer to the holidays.
Additionally, in years when inflation causes higher prices, it's more important to adjust when and where you purchase items, so you do not get overextended during the holiday period.
Shop the Early Grocery Sales
Everyone loves to have big holiday dinners, but they can get expensive, especially if you provide most or all of the food. You can still have a big dinner on a budget:
- Scale down to immediate relatives.
- Ask your relatives to bring something. Each person could bring a side dish or a dessert.
- Start food shopping now. If you have the freezer space, look for sales for the items you need to prepare holiday dinners. Purchasing the ingredients on sale and freezing them could save you quite a bit. Of course, canned goods are fine on the shelf from now until the holidays.
Know Your Budget and Stick to It
Being in a debt relief program, you already know the importance of watching your budget. However, you can still enjoy the holidays. Look at your monthly budget for November and December. Determine how much money you need for dinners, gifts, and holiday decorations. Each week, set aside the amount that fits into your budget for the next two months. This allows you to shop sales as they come up instead of trying to finagle a lump sum out of your budget later in the season.
Reuse Holiday Decorations
Some people like to buy new holiday decorations every year. Save that money for gifts or holiday dinners. Use last year's decorations. You can even have your kids make some decorations. It's a fun activity that kids of all ages – even the grown ones – can enjoy. If your kids are young and you save their handmade decorations, you can see how they have progressed over the years.
Pick Up a Side Job
Whether you have a skill you can sell or pick up a part-time job, you could spend all of the money you earn at the job for the holidays since that money is not in your current budget. If you need ideas, ask local social media groups if anyone has work for hours that you are available. If you don't plan on keeping the job after the holidays, always let potential employers know. Many of them hire only for the holidays.
Create Handmade Gifts
You can work on handmade gifts now. Often handmade gifts go over very well. Crocheted or knitted blankets, pyrography, table fountains, soaps, or anything that you can make yourself show a person that you cared enough to spend the time to make something just for that person.
Shop the sales for holiday gifts. That means starting holiday gift shopping early. In fact, some people start their gift shopping the week after the holidays end the previous years. Shopping sales can save hundreds of dollars, even if you are just starting.
Get Rid of Unneeded Expenses
Cut off extra cable channels for the season. If you have a huge package with all of the movie channels, get rid of all of the movie channels – or at least most of them. You can always turn them back on after the holidays. Check cell phone bills to make sure the plan you have is not too big. If you have data left over every month, scale down to a plan with less data.
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