Stuck Inside for the Holidays: An Opportunity to Save Moneyadmin
This holiday season, most people will be spending a little more time at home. There will be fewer events to attend, fewer parties, and less dining out. You may find yourself skipping the usual holiday travel in favor of staying close to home (and avoiding the potential spread of germs). Sticking close to home for the holidays, however, offers one key advantage: it can help you save a significant amount of money this year.
Holiday Savings in Unexpected Places
As the holiday season approaches, you may find yourself with the urge to go all out in order to compensate for the difficulties you’ve faced throughout 2020. That doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t find yourself noting savings as the season moves forward. Take a look at some of the cost savings you may experience this year.
A meal out can cost an average of $10-$20 per person–or more, if you’re eating out at a fancy restaurant for the holidays! Take out your family of four, and you could quickly spend $50-$80 on the meal even before you include the tip.
A slower-paced holiday season for 2020, on the other hand, could mean more meals eaten at home. You may feel pressured to attend fewer gatherings and events that require you to pick up the tab for your family, and, if you’re taking care of your shopping online instead of going out to pick up all your holiday gifts, you may not need to dash in and grab lunch while you do your shopping, either.
Parties and Events
Parties and events often stack up the costs. You may end up needing to take a dish to the party–and just grabbing a fruit tray can cost $20 or more. You might need to take along a Secret Santa gift or pick up a White Elephant present. Then there are the clothes you have to purchase just for the occasion. In short, attending a long list of parties and events could cause your holiday costs to skyrocket. Many events may also require ticket purchases, which can add up faster than expected.
International plane tickets, in 2017 and 2018, cost over $1,000 per person. Even domestic travel can quickly become expensive, whether you’re flying across the country with your family or loading up in the family vehicle. This year, sticking close to home could help you save significantly on your holiday budget.
Travel restrictions and social distancing do not prevent you from buying gifts for your loved ones. They can, however, significantly reduce the number of people you “have” to buy for this year. Before you head out to do your holiday shopping, check your list and see what you’ve been able to remove from your shopping obligations this year.
What to Do with the Savings
Did you experience more savings than anticipated this holiday season? What should you do with the extra money you’ve set aside? Consider some of these options.
Give some extra money to charity.
This year, many families have fallen on hard times. Donating to charity can allow you to help alleviate some of that struggle. Around the holidays, it’s easy to find plenty of charities to give back to. Make sure that you do your research so that you know you’re giving back to a reputable, trustworthy organization.
Pay down debt.
If you’ve been struggling to get out of debt, the extra holiday savings are a great way to alleviate some of that strain. Consider choosing a small debt and paying it off or getting ahead on some of your big payments, including your car or mortgage. It could be the best gift you give your future self this holiday season!
Start an emergency savings account.
Many families were hit hard by COVID-19 related shutdowns and the other economic challenges that hit throughout 2020. Whether you faced a few of your own or have been lucky enough to avoid them, it could be just the incentive you need to open an emergency savings account. Ideally, you should be able to put together a minimum of $1000 quickly in an emergency. Shifting some of those extra holiday funds toward a savings account can help you better prepare for the future.
Invest in a special gift (for someone else or for yourself).
Is there a major purchase you or someone you love has been putting off making? Have you found yourself struggling to justify a large purchase? If you have extra funds left over after the holidays, this could be the ideal time to take the plunge and make that important investment. It could be as simple as making some much-needed repairs to your vehicle or taking care of a few needed home renovations: a little something special that will help carry you through to the end of the year. You could also invest in a special gift for someone else who needs it, sneaking out to bestow a little holiday joy on a friend, neighbor, or loved one.
Plan for a little extra holiday joy in some other way.
Many families are reinventing traditions this year. You may find yourself with more time on your hands during the holidays this year, rather than the go-go-go mentality that seems to fill many holidays. Consider how you can use some of those extra holiday funds to increase your holiday joy: decorations you might not have invested in for past holidays; books, movies, and games to enjoy with your family; or even simply a few special meals you can prepare at home.
Many people may find that they have extra money on their hands this holiday season. Others, however, may need a little extra help bringing the holiday magic to life. If you find yourself in needs of extra holiday funds this season, contact us to learn more about how a cash loan can provide the immediate funds you need to help finish your holiday shopping or handle some of the unexpected expenses that often come along with the holidays.