Tips to Save Money during the Holidays While Saving for a House
Budgeting and spending money wisely is always a good habit, but it is especially important when you are saving for a house. However, even if you scrimp and save most months of the year, many of us tend to go overboard during the holidays and spend more. Socializing, gift giving, travel, decorating, and entertaining can cost hundreds—or thousands—of dollars that can otherwise be put towards your new home down payment. Here are some strategies for saving money during the holidays to help you stay on track to buy the home of your dreams.
11 Tips in Saving for a House
1. Be honest and open with family and friends
Tell your loved ones that you have a goal—saving for a house. Explain that you don’t have the finances to purchase elaborate, expensive gifts because you want to follow your savings plan. Agree to set price limits on gifts, draw names so you only buy one gift within a group instead of one for each member of the group, or not exchange gifts at all.
2. Get crafty and creative
Homemade baked goods and hand-crafted gifts are personal and less expensive, and made with love. Make your own decorations, too. Not only will you feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment in saving on those costs, but it’s also a way to get the whole family involved and spending quality time together.
3. Plan ahead
Allow plenty of time if you are making gifts so that you are not rushing at the last minute. Also, take the time to research sales and find coupons for purchased gifts. Sign up for retailer emails to get notifications of sales and offers. Take advantage of gifts with purchase, such as additional bonus gift cards with a gift card purchase. Save credit card reward points over the course of the year and use them for purchasing gifts and gift cards. The time it takes to get organized will be worth the money you save!
4. Make a budget and stick to it
A few months before, decide on a holiday budget for gifts, decorating, entertaining, and travel and don’t budge from it. If credit cards are too tempting, take out cash, place it in an envelope and stop spending when the envelope is empty. If it helps, tape a picture of a house to the outside of the envelope to serve as a constant reminder of why you are saving for a house and having a frugal holiday. Don’t forget to include holiday donations in your budget.
5. Find free and inexpensive ways to celebrate
Look for free tree lightings, menorah lightings, parades, vendor fairs and other fun free holiday entertainment in your area. Also, instead of going out to eat at expensive restaurants, invite friends and family to your home for festive pot luck!
6. Dress for celebrations without spending a fortune
Instead of buying expensive formal clothes for fancy holiday parties, rent them! Tuxedos have always been available for rental, but now there are many options for women to rent formal gowns. If you need to buy, purchase one great outfit that can be changed up slightly with different accessories that you already own. Look at upscale consignment shops; they often have dresses that have only been worn once or not at all.
7. Cut other luxury expenses
We all know how the cost of that daily latte can really add up. Trim other daily expenses while you’re trimming the tree! Two months of daily lattes can be put toward saving for a house down payment instead.
8. Make a list
You can check your list twice—or twenty times—but don’t add to it! Avoid impulse buys and add-ons for loved ones or yourself. It’s easy to get sucked in by the retail holiday spirit and sales, but stay firm and don’t buy anything not on your list.
9. Use technology
Use your smartphone and available apps for tracking your budget, spending and savings. There are apps for sales, coupons, free holiday events and more.
10. Travel wisely
Holiday travel can be expensive. If you must travel, plan ahead to find the best deals on air fare and hotels. Try to travel on lower peak days, and stay with family and friends instead of hotels. This is another great reason to save reward points throughout the year to use for holiday travel, but be sure to check for any blackout dates.
11. Get back to basics
Focus on the love shared by spending holiday time with family and friends instead of spending money on things. Be grateful for the non-material gifts in your life, and the wonderful joys of the holiday season.
By following these tips, you can still have a holiday season filled with good times and memories. You will also have a fuller bank account and be that much closer to your goal in saving for a house where you can enjoy the next holiday season.
If you’re interested in buying a house this holiday season or beyond, I offer many different home loan products for a wide variety of financial situations. Get in touch today to learn more about your options! Simply contact me, Jeff Berman “The Mortgage Go To Guy”, at 214-989-7700 or complete the form below.