It might be a time of the year that we’re all supposed to celebrate, but the truth is that the holiday season is considered the most stressful for a reason. The pursestrings are getting pulled on harder than ever, and it’s easy for the freeze to start hitting your bank balance. Here, we’re going to look at a few tips that can help you manage the cost of the season.
Manage those heating costs
It’s more tempting than ever to simply turn the heating up full blast, but those growing fuel bills can quickly become a cause for concern. You can try and manage them by having a specialist to come check out your HVAC system ahead of time, making sure that it’s working as efficiently as possible and helping you save some money on the fuel bills. You should look around the home for anything that might be making your heating work harder than necessary, such as any air leaks in the windows or doors of the home.
Buy a little Christmas each week
There’s a lot to get for Christmas day, and that’s even outside of the presents. It’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars on food, treats, and decorations. So, why not make it easier to manage by buying a little something each time you go shopping? That way, your “big Christmas shop” isn’t going to cost anywhere near as much. Next year, look to any local stores near you that have Christmas savings schemes that let you put a little money towards the holidays every time you go shopping throughout the year. This can include loyalty cards, stamps, and the like.
Consider making a gift or two
Who said that a gift has to be expensive to be good? If it’s something they can use or appreciate, then making the gift yourself might add an extra touch of specialness to it that makes it a hit. You only need to spend money on the supplies needed to make the gift, cutting down your Christmas budget significantly. Look on the internet for plenty of DIY Christmas gift lists. There’s no shortage of ideas so you should easily be able to find that special person in your life.
Time for your own annual Christmas sale
We can all use a little extra money come the holiday season.. It’s also a good time to look over the year and how we have spent our time. In particular, look at any presents you’ve received and items you’ve bought and ask yourself if you really got enough use out of them to consider keeping them. If not, it might just be time to flog it, whether you do so with a garage sale on auction sites, or elsewhere. Social media is becoming a much more popular place to sell your unwanted items these days thanks to the fact that they have no fees for listing on them.
Buy your foods in bulk
If you need a lot of food for the holiday or you want to make grocery shopping cheaper, then consider going to a bulk store. You can stock up for the winter, so long as you have the means to store the food, while paying significantly less than you would for such quantities at a grocery store. Otherwise, plan your meals so you buy less ingredients in total. If you buy an ingredient that’s used across several meals, you’re saving money while also ensuring that you’re not needlessly throwing unused food away.
Beware what winter can do to your car
Just as your home bills can go up in the winter, so too can your car bills. Winter can cause a whole host of problems. This includes engine trouble if you’re not using oil with the right viscosity for the cold. Similarly, batteries drain quicker in the winter, too, so make sure you have it checked up on. Otherwise, you might be relying on some expensive roadside services due to a sudden breakdown. If you’re worried about breaking down, then consider signing up to a breakdown service in advance, as well.
Stop your car from guzzling more gas
It’s the season to be jolly, we’re all apt to enjoy a little more drink than we might usually. You need to know when to cut your car off, however. During the winter, the average car consumes an extra tank of gas a month. There are some tips to prevent this: stop idling where possible, consider investing in a pre-heater, and plan your routes before you head out so you can avoid traffic. Having to brake and accelerate repeatedly will drain your gas, and it takes more of it to get your car moving in the winter. Similarly, if you have to idle for more than ten seconds outside of traffic, then you would use less gas simply turning the engine off and on again when you need it.
Make sure you’re ready for the winter disasters
From burst pipes to heating problems, there are a lot of ways that winter can leap out at us to suddenly bite a chunk of our holiday budget. With expenses being so high at this time of year, many of us simply aren’t in a position to deal with unexpected costs. This with when lump sum cash advances can be at their most helpful. If your budget is tight, then look at the credit options available to you, from payday loans to personal loans, and make sure you have your options ready just in case you need to use them. Before you borrow any money to help you get through the holidays, make sure that you also have a plan to pay it off, of course. You should be ready to tackle any debt you’ve made when the new year comes around.
With the tips above, it should be easy to prepare for and even avoid some of the more costly winter woes, while ensuring that you and your family have the holidays that you deserve.