Saving for the Holiday Season
by Maia Muttoo Oct 22, 2018
As we enter the final quarter of the year, it’s time to start thinking about saving for the holidays. From hosting dinner parties to buying presents for friends and family, the festive season can often mean a lot of expenditures, and it’s best to plan ahead. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy celebrating without emptying your bank account.
Establish Your Budget
Before you do anything else, establish a manageable budget. Some things you’ll need to factor in include gifts, parties and dinners, home décor and travel. Update your budget regularly to be sure you’re keeping on track.
Always Ask for Local Discounts
Many tourism and service businesses offer discounts for locals, sometimes up to 20% off. Before booking your next adventure experience or spa day, call ahead and ask about resident discounts that could save you a substantial amount of cash.
Meal-Prep and Pack Snacks
The Caribbean region is known for exceptional dining establishments, but eating out frequently can drain your savings. Instead of going out to lunch daily or picking up your morning coffee from a fancy café, build grocery shopping into your budget and choose a few convenient nights of the week to meal-prep. Pack snacks when heading out on the town to avoid stopping to buy nibbles.
Make a List and Check it twice
When shopping for presents, it can be tempting to buy everything in the store. Sometimes, we even get tempted to buy gifts for ourselves! Having goals in mind can stop you from impulse buying. Before you go shopping, make a list of the people you have to buy gifts for and what you plan to give them. It’s also helpful to write down what shops you’ll need to visit so you don’t find yourself wandering through endless stores picking up more and more things.
Plan for a Potluck
In the Caribbean, the holidays are all about liming with friends and family over plenty of ham, fruit cake and sorrel. But hosting holiday meals can be hard on your wallet when you factor in ingredients, utensils, décor and clean-up. This year, invite everyone for a potluck dinner to share the load.
Sell more, Buy Less
The pre-holiday season is a great time to clean out your closet. Go through old items and host a garage sale to earn some spare pocket change.
Make Gifts or Offer Labour
Instead of buying expensive gifts, leverage your skills for the gift-giving season. Maybe you can paint? Create a beautiful portrait of your loved one. Are you handy around the house? Offer your help with a home-improvement project. Not all treasures are silver and gold after all!
Celebrating the holidays shouldn’t be stressful. With these tips, you can kick holiday financial strain to the curb, and better enjoy the spirit of giving.