Holidays on a Budget: A Financially Friendly Guide to “Decking the Halls”

The holidays are just around the corner, and we will soon be covered in a blanket of snow, with marching bands leading parades, and Santa’s village bringing long lines to the malls. While the excitement builds up, we are often left wondering how we can possibly save money or limit our spending without compromising the spirit of the season. With just a few practical tips and tricks, embracing the magic and togetherness of the holidays without breaking the bank is not only a practical goal, but attainable as well. Here are a few budget friendly ways to “deck the halls” without overspending: Decor Seasonal and Holiday decor is a good way to keep your house looking fresh and well-kept, and we don’t have to break the bank to do it. Pinterest is full of DIY crafts that can spruce up the home atmosphere for the holidays. With mason jars or wine bottles, and a little paint or ribbon from the dollar store, you are sure to be able to put together a few items for a centerpiece or mantel decor. Incorporating pine cones, twigs, and greenery found on outdoor walks can make excellent craft materials for garlands, statement pieces or even a simple Christmas arrangement for the dining room table. For an extra pop, fairy lights can be purchased at Costco or any craft store; these lights can be added to vases, centerpieces, lanterns, mantels, or garland for a little extra holiday warmth. Decorating can be fun, uplifting, and economical when you add a little creativity to the mix. Gifts Gift giving over the Holiday season can be one of the most exciting traditions, whether you or on the giving or receiving end, but it can also be costly when your shopping list gets longer and longer. In terms of gifting, one of the best ways to save money is to encourage gift exchange ideas such as secret santa, where names are drawn and you only buy for the person whose name you have pulled. This adds a little mystery to the mix, which is always entertaining, but also allows people to save during the holidays. If you are interested in gifting items to multiple people and don’t mind putting in a little extra work, this is another place where DIY can come in handy; filling mason jars with homemade baked goods or a homemade Christmas tree ornament are two thoughtful ways of gifting on a budget! Traditions Holiday traditions are a fun and inclusive way to enjoy time with family. Creating traditions based around low-cost activities is a way to ensure family-time is had, enjoyed, and remembered for years to come. Activities such as movie-nights, sledding, watching a high school play are budget friendly ways to incorporate tradition into the Holidays! Meals One of the easiest things to spend your money on during the Holiday Season is food; between baking sugary treats or preparing big family dinners, we often overlook how much we are actually spending on edibles over the holidays. A cost-efficient way to tackle the big family dinner is to introduce a potluck style meal! Invite all family members to make a dish that is unique to them; with everyone contributing their own specialty to the meal, not only do stress levels go down by divvying up the responsibilities, but we get to try unique food that we may not have had before. We all know that the Holidays come with expenses, and occasionally this can feel overwhelming. Luckily, with little creativity and frugal thinking, we can see that saving during the season is manageable without compromising the experience for anybody! Enjoy this holiday season with family, friends, good food, great traditions, and with money leftover when all is said and done. Happy Holidays.

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