Discover how to save money during the holidays so you can enjoy the season, stress-free.
Learning how to save money during the holidays isn’t as tough as you think. What it does require for most people is a major shift in your mentality toward money, and, yes, holiday giving. Back when America was doing its best, kids received one or two gifts for the holidays. Today? Many children receive toys they don’t even want. This materialistic take on one of the most sacred times of year has turned the holidays from a time of celebrating into a marathon of stress and ego-bruising. Brush up on your budgeting skills and reboot your traditions with these common sense tips from Title Tree.
Start With a Specific Budget
Personal finance experts at Families.com recommend limiting your holiday gift giving expenses to one percent of your take home income. To get a good estimate of this amount, multiply your yearly salary by .008. Then prepare to be shocked by the low amount. Chances are you’ll wind up spending more than this for the holidays, but it’s a good figure to keep in mind when setting your budget. One percent represents an amount considered safe and reasonable depending on your income. Resist the urge to go overboard; you want to be able to pay your bills later on.
Create Two Holiday Gift Lists
When it comes to holiday giving, presents fall into three groups: gifts, stocking stuffers and trinkets. Parents may feel pressured to give their children quirky, cool stocking stuffers, but these odds and ends can break the bank. Start a new tradition by including new types of food, handmade gifts or crafting supplies in your kids’ stockings. Utilize no more than 10 percent of your giving budget on stocking stuffers.
Create your family list, and do your best to stick with the people you know your giving will impact. Dedicate 75 percent of your budget to this list. Your next list should be made of acquaintances, such as coworkers or postal workers, and should take up no more than 15 percent of your giving budget. This may mean you’ll be gifting smaller, less expensive items than in the past, but most acquaintances don’t expect anything special. They just like to be remembered, so those small, affordable tokens go a long way.
Select the Right Packaging
A gift is a gift is a gift, but the memory of opening it will leave a bigger impact if the wrapping is just right. Party stores often have gift boxes and other containers available at very affordable prices. You can also order gift boxes wholesale online.
Clothing packs well into an apparel box, with at least one sheet of tissue paper protecting the garment. Oddly shaped items should be placed in a tuck-top or cap-top box for safe, convenient wrapping with tissue paper. Jewelry boxes are perfect for earrings, bracelets and other bling, but silverware boxes and various decorative gift boxes, from roll-top tulip gift boxes to tab-tops and slider gift boxes, are also good options, too. Cotton inserts are available wholesale as well. If the box you choose is nice enough, no further wrapping is needed, though even a single strip of ribbon adds a special touch.
Protecting Your Holiday Presents
Present theft is one risk few people think about until it’s come to pass. Gifts are regularly stolen from cars and homes. The particulars of your auto, home or renter insurance policies will decide the coverage of your purchases. Remember, you can change your insurance coverage at any time, so it may benefit you to beef up your policies during the holidays to protect your presents.
What benefits are required? For recovering for items stolen from your car, your auto insurance policy must cover vehicle contents. Alternatively, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance must have “away-from-home” coverage. Given a choice, go with the auto insurance policy, as you’ll be penalized more for a homeowner’s or renter’s claim. Also be sure to look at the fine print. According to TexasInsurance, for coverage of contents, they must be out of sight or there must be physical signs of a break-in.
Sadly, break-ins on Christmas morning are common. Many families are in church, and their homes are ripe for the picking. Make sure you’ve logged all of your gifts after opening, just in case. Doing what you can to ensure coverage of presents under your insurance policy will go a long way toward saving money should the worst happen.
Even if you’re working on how to save money during the holidays, you may need a title pawn to help you in the meantime. Come on in to Title Tree, and we can help you get the cash you need.