It’s That Time of Year! 5 Ways to Save for the Holidays

Can you believe that the holidays are just a few short weeks away? This is a time of year during which people are prone to overspending. Whether they’ve been unable to budget appropriately or rely on credit cards it can be a dark spot in an otherwise bright season.

There are a lot of ways for people to be strategic with their spending, though, and not of all of them involve collecting change from the couch cushions and off the street.  Some of them even work as a kind of 2-for-1 where you might tidy up the house or reap other benefits, such as not going into debt over the holidays.

1.       Get rewards through recycling
Bankrate has more information on this, but there are ways to gain rewards for recycling old electronics. Maxback.com and Recyclebank.com allow you to accrue rewards which can be used for lots of things, including gift cards. Old electronics generate nearly three million tons of waste every year. This strategy clears out your home as well as landfills.

2.       Gift your skillset
What’s your talent? What can you offer that others can’t? Maybe it would also make a good gift. If you’re the photographer in a group or family, choose some of your favorites and frame them. If you’re a web designer, create a website for people who need them. Writers can put their skills to use to write family histories, cookbooks, and export as an ePub, PDF, or some other digital edition. Find ways to use your skills to save on gifts, and chances are it’ll be more meaningful than the most expensive gift.

3.       Give everyone the same gift
Okay, let’s be real: this sounds like kind of a cop-out, we know. But it’s expensive and emotionally draining to pick up a meaningful gift for everyone. Keep your eyes peeled for something that’s cheaper to pick up in bulk and dive in. Figure out who gets a gift, and keep an extra selection on hand for those random gifts that come in. You know, like the random coworker who surprises everyone with something.

4.       Move the holiday
Impossible? Not really. Talk with the family and gauge the possibility of celebrating after New Year. The biggest financial benefit? Catching all those post-Christmas deals can save you loads of cash.Plus, you don’t have to deal with the crowds and traffic.

5.       Use your credit card rewards
Assuming you’re using low-interest/high reward accounts, check out the options through your credit agencies. Most will offer some kind of cash back, gift card or discount the more you spend, so look into cashing those in to help pay for gift buying.

What tips do you have to save during the holidays?