How to budget like a boss for the holidays

Nothing says the holiday season is officially here than the insatiable need to drop money on all things festive. You may find yourself suffering from holiday craze symptoms such as the desire to swipe your credit card for anything warm and fuzzy, the constant thirst for hot chocolate and the need for endless family fun.

If you’re like me, your money struggle doesn’t magically disappear with the arrival of the holidays. So how do you live the good life while sticking to your budget? Read on to find out how you can conquer the holidays like a queen:

  1.       Get Started Early

I know the idea of last minute shopping may seem whimsical, but in reality it’s complete and utter hell. Start your shopping early and avoid the nightmarish last minute shopping frenzy.

I cannot stress this enough: Getting started early will not only save you from running around like a maniac, but it will also save you a TON of money.

One of the best holiday lessons I learned from my mom was to take advantage of the sales that happen right after each holiday. For example: Stores typically have “day after” sales where they radically reduce the price of holiday gifts and decorations.  You may be thinking, “Well why would I get my gifts the day after?” If you get them the day after, you can save the gifts for next year’s holiday season, especially if you know exactly what your loved ones need. Getting your gifts a year before will save you so much time. You can essentially take care of all gift giving obligations an entire year in advance. Easy, right?

  1.       Keep Things Organized

The idea of keeping a list may sound cheesy, but I’m telling you, it helps! Every holiday season, I take time to write down the names of everyone special in my life and what I may be interested in getting them as a gift. Keeping this list helps me reduce my stress and avoid any “oops” moments of accidentally forgetting about someone. Your list doesn’t have to be extensive or precise, you can always just write down a few general ideas of what you think you may purchase.

  1.       Be a Good Giver

We’ve all had a moment where a loved one has given us a “gift” for the holidays that we just didn’t need — a’ la dreadful socks. So before you give someone a gift just for the sake of giving them one, make sure you evaluate whether they can a) use the gift and b) enjoy the gift. Don’t just waste your money on knick knacks that you know no one wants.

  1.       Watch Your Emails

A lot of stores have mini sales that pop up as the holidays approach. These sales sometimes last a day or so and are even exclusive to email subscribers. If you have any particular go-to stores that you love, be sure to sign up for their email offers so you can stay in loop about all discounts.

And if you don’t want the email overload post-season, you can always unsubscribe!

  1.       Don’t be like Scrooge

In the midst of the tornado we call the holidays, it’s super easy to get grumpy and negative when things start to become overwhelming. Chances are you’ll be thinking, “What have I gotten myself into!?” as the holidays get closer and closer. Take a moment to breathe if you ever start to feel too swamped. Just remember why you love the holidays and the smiling faces you’ll see when you unleash your onslaught of awesome yet thrifty gifts to your loved ones.

  1.       Take Advantage of Groupon Specials

Once you’re done playing Santa Claus, you’ll no doubt be in need of a mini-vacation. Groupon has endless vacation deals that will melt your stress away. If your budget it super tight, check out some of their vacation deals in your area. There’s nothing more fun than being a tourist in your own neck of the woods. You’ll be surprised how refreshing it can be to get out in your city for some rest and exciting exploration.