This holiday season, while we want to give thanks for the blessings we have, we also want to remember to engage in some financially sound habits to keep the blessings coming for the rest of the year.
Here are some ideas to save some money during Thanksgiving and set yourself up for smart credit habits in the coming new year.
Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas:
Saving money on Thanksgiving dinner can make a big difference in your household budget. Don’t get so focused on shopping that you forget about all you’re spending on entertaining and family get-togethers. Here are some tips for making the annual family Thanksgiving meal a bit more budget-friendly:
- Plan a Potluck.
Hosting an entire meal and preparing everything for a large group of people can be a real budget-buster. Changing to a potluck approach can actually add to the theme of families coming together and celebrating the holidays by everyone bringing something to the table. Write out what everyone will be bringing and make sure all of the bases are covered. Besides food items, identify what supplies people might be able to bring, like place settings, serving dishes, cookware, etc.
- Decorate without spending.
Don’t buy new decorations, instead use what you already have. You can also trade decorations with friends and neighbors. Use your network to orchestrate a swap that gives everyone fresh new decorations without having to spend a dime. Also consider cutting decorating costs by using natural elements, such as pinecones or wreaths made from found materials, like seasonal branches and leaves. Make this year’s decor all-natural and spend some fun time crafting instead of spending money. You can also check Pinterest or other social media sites for decoration inspiration and ideas that you can pull off without having to buy anything new.
- Use your leftovers.
Thanksgiving is a notorious holiday, in terms of leaving leftover food. Be sure to use all of what you make over the next week, or even freeze leftovers for some future use. You can get back some of the money you spent on the big family dinner by packing leftovers for lunch too. Who said Thanksgiving food was just for Thanksgiving?
After Thanksgiving, you might be in the habit of spending the next day shopping for Christmas gifts or decorating the house for that next big holiday. Just like that big family dinner, it’s important to have the foresight to be financially prepared for the coming season.
- Secret Santa Gifts/Draw Names
Before Black Friday comes, potentially on Thanksgiving, get together with (or call) the extended family and draw names for Christmas gift-giving. This way everyone knows who they’re shopping for on the big holiday shopping weekend and each person will have fewer gifts they need to buy. If you want to preserve some mystery for the holidays, use the “Secret Santa” method and draw names without telling everyone whose name you drew.
- Write down your budget.
Make a written budget for every part of the next couple of months, including the extra holiday spending. Making a plan ahead of time and committing it to paper makes it more likely that you’ll stick to it. No need to risk overspending and getting yourself into financial hot water.
- Track your spending.
A big part of budgeting is tracking the spending you do. You’ll know how to make smart adjustments to your budget, and you know what parts of your budget you’re not sticking to. If you don’t have time to track your spending while you’re shopping, snap a quick pic of your shopping receipt for easy budget tracking later.
Planning ahead for the holidays and making sure you stay on track is essential to avoiding extra holiday stress you don’t need. If you find that you need some extra credit repair help to get out of holiday debts you weren’t prepared for, give ASAP Credit Repair a call, we know what to do.