5 Ways to Better Manage Your Holiday Spending

The holiday season is a special time for celebrating with loved ones. With all of the shopping, decorating, cooking, and travel, this season can also be a very expensive time of the year. Here are some ideas to help you stay on budget without missing out on the holiday fun.

1) Plan ahead and save.

A helpful way to prepare for the holidays is to save throughout the year. You can open up a Bethpage Savings or Money Market Account just for holiday spending and put money in it on a regular basis. Estimate how much money you think you will need to cover your holiday expenses, and work toward that goal by depositing any extra money you may have each month into this dedicated account.

2) Organize a Secret Santa gift swap.

A Secret Santa gift swap can help you save money and stress, while adding a bit of intrigue and playfulness to your holiday gift giving. This gift swap is great for family gatherings, office parties and neighborhood get-togethers. Everyone involved only needs to bring one gift for their assigned person that is valued at an amount that everyone agrees upon in advance.

3) Use your talents to make unique gifts.

Another great way to reduce the cost of holiday shopping is to make gifts instead of buying them. Do you do woodworking? Are you a talented writer or musician? Wherever your talents lie, put them to good use by creating gifts that are truly not like any other. Gifts that come from your hands and heart can save you money and are often the most treasured gifts.

4) Make use of holiday deals.

Holiday sales can create a great opportunity for you to save money on gifts. Try comparison shopping at different stores for the same item to ensure you are getting the best deal. If you are shopping online, take advantage of coupon codes to get even more for your money.

5) Rethink what “giving” can mean.

“Giving” around the holidays can mean donating your time. This is the perfect time of year to volunteer at local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and charity organizations. This kind of giving doesn’t cost anything, but can provide a memorable and priceless experience for all involved.