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By Claude Reyes
The holiday season is just right around the corner, and even though it may not look like the ones we’ve used to in the past given the pandemic, it is still worth looking forward to and celebrating. But while the ongoing crisis has made a lot of things in our daily lives unpredictable, one thing remains clear—making this holiday season special will cost quite a bit of money. Not to worry though. Here are a few simple ways in which you can save up for the coming season of giving (and spending).
Get that pen and paper ready, or open up that excel sheet. List down all your expected holiday expenses: food and drinks, decor, new clothes for yourself and the kids, and gifts. For each category, assign a specific amount based on your priorities. For food, take an inventory of your pantry so you won’t end up buying duplicates. List down all the people you want to give gifts to, brainstorm on their gifts, and stick to them when you finally shop.
Planning also allows you to comparison shop. Comparison shopping gives you the chance to find the best deals, and if you can’t find a good deal, it can get you thinking if what you’re buying is worth spending on.
Look for things to cut back spending on
Take a look at all your current expenses. Is there anything in there that you can remove? Review your autopayments. Remember that free trial subscription that you forgot to unsubscribe from? That could be adding to your expenses. If you’re subscribed to at least three streaming services, surely you don’t use all of them. Choose the one that you use daily and get rid of the others. Do you find yourself buying treats almost everyday? Consider giving yourself a different kind of treat (perhaps a much-needed nap, or an hour just doing nothing?). You’ll be surprised at how much your tiny treats and subscriptions add up, even if they don’t cost as much.
Have a separate account for your holiday expenses.
If you’re doing everything last minute this year, this may not work out for now, but consider getting a separate account for all your holiday expenses. Set a target and then transfer a specific amount to it every payday months before the holiday season so you won’t find yourself scrambling to make extra cash when the holidays are here.
Get a side hustle or sell your stuff.
If you feel like splurging on a treat for the holiday, why not get a side hustle to boost your savings? If you’re a writer or a graphic artist, sign up for online freelancing websites. If you like baking or cooking, sell your wares online. If you want to swap your wardrobe with new duds, take an inventory of your closet and see if you can sell anything on Carousell, Instagram, or even Facebook groups for swapping or selling.
Make a budget and commit to it.
Committing to a budget is easier said than done—this one requires utmost discipline. Don’t be too stingy with it, though, because that’s the perfect recipe for a budget disaster. Set your limits but be reasonable about it. Having a limited budget will force you to think more creatively about how to stretch your peso, and how to spend on what truly matters.