According to a survey, about nine in ten Americans say they celebrate Christmas, including non-Christians and people with no religion. Overall, 51% consider it as a religious holiday while 32% say it’s more of a cultural holiday.
With more and more Americans observing Christmas, the amount spent on holiday expenses also increases year after year. In fact, NRF expects holiday retail sales to go up to $678.75-682 billion from last year’s $655.8 billion.
So how do you financially prepare for this expensive holiday in just a couple of months?
1. Start planning now.
Assuming that you already know how much you can spend for the holidays, depending on your current financial situation, it’s time to figure out what you need to spend on – gifts, décor, food preparations, travel, charitable organizations, etc. Having a plan and a budget will help you going overboard with your holiday expenses.
2. Start collecting coupons from your favorite stores.
Check online for coupons and subscribe to their emails to receive discounts and exclusive deals that will save you money on your holiday shopping.
3. Cash in rewards.
Now is the time to check the balances of your credit card reward points or other loyalty cards to redeem the points for gift cards or merchandise. Most companies also run special promotions during the holidays so start looking at them now to maximize your rewards.
4. Start making homemade gifts.
Homemade gifts are not just inexpensive but very meaningful as well. With a dash of creativity and some inspiration, you don’t need to spend a fortune on Christmas gifts. Check out Pinterest for DIY gift ideas.
5. Suggest a Secret Santa gift exchange.
Make an arrangement with your group of friends, colleagues or your big family to just have a Secret Santa gift exchange. This will definitely help you save lots of money. After all, Christmas isn’t about material gifts, it’s being together with your loved ones to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
6. Consider purchasing some of the gifts now.
Last minute shopping isn’t really a smart decision. It’s okay to start shopping when you spot a great deal. Amazon already launched its Gift Guide for 2017. Visit this page to see deals on Holiday Toys, Electronics and Home Products.