To many, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year and also the most difficult time for a budget. Why not save money this season by following some of these easy tips:
- Holiday cards: Send a holiday postcard rather than a card or letter to reduce postage costs. You can even recycle old cards you have received by cutting the card in half and sending the front of the card as a postcard.
- Wrapping paper: Get creative with the type of wrapping you use. For instance, use your children's artwork, or use the newspaper and other printed mailbox finds. Ribbons work without wrapping paper, too.
- Decorations: Decorate with nature. Use pinecones and evergreen boughs around your home. Fill glass vases with peppermint, colored candies and nuts. Also consider using everyday items around the house, like stringing cotton balls and popcorn for tree trimmings.
- Entertainment: Think about the free delights of the season. Check out your favorite holiday movies from the library, drive around town to see Christmas lights, and take a winter hike at a local or state park.
- Gift exchange: Ask your family or friends to consider drawing names this year. Or have everyone bring one gift and then play a gift-swapping game to see who gets what. To make gifting even less expensive, ask everyone to bring something from their home that they enjoy but no longer need.
- Homemade gifts: Why not give a gift that truly comes from you. It might be something you make or bake, or it might be a gift of your time. Some ideas? Offer free babysitting, dog or cat watching, lawn care or gardening services. Your limit is your imagination.