The holidays are here and so is the excessive spending that often comes along with them. It’s not too late to change the fate of your bank account this season. Here are 8 ways to help you have a frugal and festive time this year.
1. One Smart Cookie: Find two or three cute cookie cutters and wrap them up with a bottle of sprinkles and your favorite sugar cookie recipe, handwritten on nice paper. Now you have a fun and inexpensive holiday gift, that’s great for coworkers and neighbors.
2. Swap it out: Instead of exchanging gift with friends this year, swap. Get your group together and have everyone bring 2-3 nice things that they have and are willing to trade. Have a holiday potluck party and have your friends draw numbers to choose who gets to pick from the gift-swap first.
3. Holiday Stay-cation: One of the most expensive aspects of the holidays is travel. This year, commit to staying home and exploring your own backyard. Use sites like tripadvisor.com to help create an itinerary of holiday-themed things to do in town. You’ll find a ton of hidden gems that you never new existed and spend way less than if you’d gone away.
4. Filter your Finger Food: Having a bunch of kids over this holiday season? If so, you may find yourself using a lot of paper plates. Have your young company use coffee filters instead. They’re the perfect size for kids and only a fraction of the cost.
5. Secret Secondhand: Search your local thrift store for pretty glassware, tins and ceramics. Bake cookies and other treats and use your thrift store finds to store them. Give them away as gifts with a pretty bow and no will ever know…
6. Free Fitness: After the holidays, everyone wants to lose a few pounds and runs to join a gym. Instead, this year find your favorite instructor via Youtube and get fit at no cost. I take daily, free, yoga classes with Tara Stiles every morning. It’s like having free, personal training sessions in the privacy of your own home.
7. Address the Issue: Use address labels to help reduce your spending this holiday season. Before trekking out to the stores, decide who you’re buying for and the maximum amount of money you want to spend on this particular trip. Write who and how much on an address label and stick it to the front of your credit/debit card of choice. This trick will help you to stop and prioritize your spending. It’s the perfect reminder at the register, should you get overwhelmed by holiday shopping. Refresh the sticker with every trip you make.
8. The Glitter-razzi...
a) A Sparkly 2-Step: Choose a pair of leather or pleather shoes that you want to give a holiday makeover. Use fabric glue and kid's glitter, then take a small paint brush and apply a heavy layer of glue to a section of your shoes, cover them in glitter (pour it on over a piece of paper). Allow that section to dry and then do more and more sections until your shoes are completely covered in glitter!
b) Nail the Holidays: Why spend money on a holiday themed mani? Use a half a bottle of clear nail polish, a funnel, your favorite color glitter and voila! Use your DYI polish as a topcoat or as the only coat. You'll have hands that even the most fashion forward of your friends will envy this season.
See there? It is possible to be frugal, fabulous and festive during the holidays!