Saving money during the holidays might not pad your bank account, but it very well may keep you from having buyer’s regret later… especially if you’re planning on using credit cards to fund your holiday shopping! One huge way to save money (and stress) is to buy using cash. Not only do we tend to spend less when we’re forking over actual bills (as opposed to the plastic), but we also don’t have to pay for it, plus interest, later. You might be thinking that this advice is all well and good, but where are you going to come up with the cash with the winter holidays just around the corner? Here are some ideas:
- Go through your closets. Do you tend to accumulate purses, shoes, sweaters and other clothing and accessories? Consider taking a weekend to go through your stash. If you have a bunch of items in good condition that you don’t wear any longer, you could consign them. You typically get a percentage of whatever the shop can sell the item for; if you have name-brand items, you will do better, money-wise. Go through your kids’ outgrown clothing, too, particularly if it’s name-brand or boutique and still in great condition. The added benefit here is that you’ll end up with more space in your closets, which is a gift in itself!
- Take on a seasonal job. Of course you’re busy with the kids and house, and maybe with an out-of-the-home job as well. Still, this is only for the short term, and remember that the hours you put in now will mean fewer hours spent making the money to pay back the creditors later, when seasonal work isn’t as plentiful. Stores, restaurants and other businesses are looking for help this time of year; working even 10 or 15 extra hours per week can really make a difference when it comes to handling all of your holiday spending!
- Manage your own small seasonal business. This can be a lot easier than it sounds. For example, offer to host a few drop-in “camp” days on the weekends so that parents can drop off their children for care while they go holiday shopping. Plan a few fun activities, feed them a fun snack and plan to show a children’s holiday-themed movie. If you have the time and love shopping, market yourself as a personal shopper, for gifts, groceries or both.
- Come up with a craft idea and participate in church bazaars, craft fairs and anywhere else that you might be able to sell your wares. Search through Pinterest for good ideas if you don’t have anything in mind. I’ve seen (and would buy!) some really cute ideas for a wreath made out of wrapped tea bags and ice packs made from fabric scraps and rice.
Although you can do a lot to save money over the holidays, it’s going to be necessary to spend some extra money, whether on special foods, gifts, travel or other expenses. Putting in the hours now will save you from having regrets later!
What are some ways that you’ve come up with extra money over the holidays? Share your best ideas with other Shopaholic Mommy readers!