White elephant parties are not the only way to save
Regular readers will know that the white elephant gift exchange is a great way to save money on gift giving during the holidays. Beyond a fun party, there are seven easy ways to save money while giving gifts this Christmas.
Create a Holiday Budget
Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter festivities, it is vitally important to determine a budget. You should always devise a budget for each avenue of spending, such as food and kitchen needs for the day, gift shopping and decorations. Creating a realistic budget, before you hit the shops, will help you to stay focused on what you really need, helping you to avoid getting carried away with unnecessary spending.
Start your Shopping Early
Why place unnecessary stress on your bank account, when you can begin your shopping earlier in the year? Many larger department stores offer unbeatable layaway options, providing the perfect solution for making your purchases, without enlisting the help of a credit card. While prices are likely to remain steady before the Christmas period, you can often get great sale bargains throughout the year.
Go on Holidays… Before the Holidays
If you’re planning a vacation, consider taking some time out before or after the peak holiday season. Hotels, attractions and airfares commonly skyrocket in price, making it virtually impossible to save any money. Your family is sure to have a great time, no matter when they travel, so why not save your hard earned money and travel a little earlier this year.
Play Secret Santa or White Elephant Exchanges
If you have a large family, playing a fun game of Secret Santa can greatly reduce the cost of gift giving. Instead of buying for several family members, every person has just one person to buy for, creating a fun yet affordable solution. The other option is the traditional white elephant gift party that brings everyone together for a social gift sharing event and everyone goes home with a gift.
Give it up
While it’s nice to have everything you want, during the holiday period, it is a good idea to cut out some frivolous spending. If you have a coffee at work every day, for instance, you could be spending more than $20 per week on this unnecessary expense. Bring your own coffee from home and add that $20 into your savings account.
Join a Christmas Club
Whether you decide to join a Christmas club or do it on your own, you should implement a plan of forced savings throughout the entire year. Depositing automatic transfers into your savings account will eliminate the need to use your credit cards or take out personal loans when the holiday season begins.
What to do if you Blow your Budget
If you do spend a little more than you intended, don’t let your holiday money troubles carry on into the next year. Unresolved debt will only cause more havoc and incur more interest and account keeping fees. You can always learn from your mistakes for next year, but for now it is important to get your debt under control. Debt consolidation companies can assist you reducing your interest repayments, by offering solutions that combine your outstanding credit cards into one, more manageable loan. So, if you did go a little overboard this year, don’t stress, just enlist the help of the professionals!
Tara Blair is a Personal Finance, Business and Travel Writer from Brisbane, Australia. She is often providing people with tips on saving money and the holiday season is a great time to start. If you lose control and blow the budget, Tara recommends talking to some debt consolidation companies to get you back on track.
We are passionate about white elephant gifts and white elephant gift exchange parties. We will do all that we can to make your experience with AlbinoPhant better than you can imagine.