The holidays are quickly approaching. For many, this time of the year means all kinds of extra stress. Family gatherings, vacations, and outings are all stressful parts of the season. Above all, gift giving seems to cause the most anxiety, especially if you’re coming up short on funds. While we can’t help with every stressful part of the holidays, we can up your gift game a little by giving you a few tips for saving money this season.
Ask For a Discount
What does it hurt to ask for something? You might be surprised at how much flexibility a company or service has. So, the next time you’re on the phone with a customer service rep. Ask (nicely) if there are any discounts or coupons available. My dad always used to say: “The worst they can say is no.”
Ask About Cheaper Options
Businesses need to make a profit, and will usually do so by offering mid-price or more expensive options to their customers initially. Ask if they have any less expensive options! This works for your phone plan, internet, home improvements, and many other regular, monthly expenses. You might not even have to sacrifice quality for a price cut. If you’re a long-time, loyal customer and you’ve made your payments on time, some companies might be willing to cut you a break.
Consider the Generic Brand
The name brand product is not always much different from the generic brand. In some cases, the name brand and generic brands are manufactured, packed, and labelled at the same warehouses! While you may not want to give up the name brand for everything you buy (see: personal care products, most perishable goods, your favorite hot sauce), you can cut your costs significantly without sacrificing nutrition or quality by switching to generic.
Track Your Expenses Before Creating A Budget
What? I know. Budgets get all the attention, but when you track your expenses, you’ll know exactly where your money is going. Trying to budget without paying close attention to what you’re already spending is frustrating, and you may end up cutting expenses that don’t need to be cut, while completely missing unnecessary purchases. Tracking your expenses and cutting out unnecessary ones will give you the cleanest slate for the most effective budget.
Let Technology Do the Coupon-Clipping For You
Saving money while online shopping is easier than you think! There are so many free browser plug-ins that automatically find active coupons for all your online purchases. Shopping for holiday gifts does not have to take hours of browsing several websites for the best deal on the same item. Try Honey, Amazon Assistant, or Rakuten to get deals.
How often do you use each of your streaming services, or watch cable TV? Do you still read that magazine that comes in the mail? If the monthly cost of these items is more than purchasing or renting item each time you use it, you could save some money by cutting these expenses. When looking at subscriptions, make sure to check your monthly bank statement for other, unexplained, regular withdrawals. Many people have old subscriptions that they no longer use but are still paying for.
Saving money this season (or any season) is simpler than you think. Evaluating your small, regular, and potentially unnecessary expenses is a great way to expand your budget a little. We know a lot about netting you more money on your home purchase or sale as well! If you have any questions or are just curious, send us a message!