How to Cut Spending on 4 Different Holidays

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

It’s hard to believe that it’s already September, and that fall is upon us. Some of the leaves are already changing color, and school is back in session in most areas. Although the holidays might seem far away, pretty soon it will be time for apple cider and pumpkin donuts, pumpkin carving, and costumes. Soon after will come Turkey and stuffing with cranberry sauce, and before we know it, Old Saint Nick will be pushing himself down through our chimneys to eat some cookies and deliver goodies. Yes, even the new year is only a few months away.

As fun as all of these holidays are, unfortunately, they come at a cost. Between travel, food, decorations and costumes, and presents, the celebrations that go along with these holidays can easily set your budget back. Here are some tips for how you can save money when preparing for the many big holidays coming your way in the next few months.

1. Halloween

Halloween is the next big holiday that many Americans go all out for. Whether you enjoy decorating your yard with ghosts and witches, dressing your kids up for parties and trick-or-treating, or you just like to hand out candy, Halloween can get surprisingly expensive. If you’re going to have a party, one easy way to cut costs is to ask friends to help provide the food. Think buffet style, and have each person bring a different ghoulish dish. You can also save money by purchasing your pumpkins last minute: Doing so will keep your pumpkins fresh, and hopefully, save you money. You can also make your own costumes, which can definitely save you a lot of money. Purchase candy in bulk if you can to cut costs as well.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. Thanksgiving

For many people, Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday because it brings family together around a large, tasty meal. However, if you are the one hosting, you may be concerned that you will be spending a lot of money and time preparing the dinner.

Turkeys are the traditional Thanksgiving meat, and they seem to get especially expensive as the holiday approaches. However, you can purchase a frozen turkey ahead of time (as long as you store it properly) to save money.

Another obvious way to save money is to only offer a few side dishes, instead of cooking many. This option may not be popular with guests, but remember, they can bring food as well.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. Christmas

According to Gallup, Americans’ predicted spending for Christmas gifts in 2013 was $740, and although that amount was actually smaller than the year before, that is still a lot of money for many people. The predicted amount doesn’t even factor in spending for travel and food, and many people go over their predicted spending. This year, for 2014, you can save money in several ways.

One great way to save on gifts is to shop for deals all year long (or at this point, over the next few months) rather than shopping right before the holidays. On the other side, Black Friday deals can be great, but the experience can be stressful. Sometimes great deals can be found online and include free shipping too. These sales can also be a great way to get gifts for Hanukkah.

Having a set budget ahead of time can also help, as can determining whether or not you actually need to give gifts to everyone on your list. If you are planning to travel at Thanksgiving or Christmas time, try to go on days that less people travel. Sometimes you can find a deal if you will travel on the actual holiday itself.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

4. New Year’s Day

Whether you’re planning a late night party on New Year’s Eve, or a celebration on the first day of 2015, you have plenty of time to start saving now. This holiday is the farthest away on our list, which means you can establish a budget and start saving now. Although this holiday often gets forgotten until Christmas is over, spending can still add up quickly. Instead of throwing a party, consider meeting friends and family at a free public event. If you really want to host your own party, see if you can find used decorations (if they are in good shape, no one will know the difference.) Make as much of your party food yourself as you can. There are many ideas on Pinterest. Although throwing your own party can be costly, you might actually spend less than you would at a bar.

The holidays are a fun time, and should be focused around food, celebration, and friends and family. You don’t have to spend a lot of money just to have fun.

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