Tis the season to potentially rack up quick credit card debt (if you’re already in that boat, read this) in an attempt to shower your family and friends with gifts from their wish lists. Check out these tips that’ll help you keep your holiday street cred without maxing out those credit cards, and breaking your holiday budget.
Got skills like The Great British Baking Show?
Trust us, your friends want your homemade treats. The holiday season is the perfect time to spread your love with a favorite recipe or DIY craft. If you have kids in your home, make the treats together; it’s a great way to involve them in the gift (and not just tag their name to a gift they didn’t pull their weight in contributing to).
Spend a few bucks to purchase bulk items and cute packaging, and there you go! You’ve created a meaningful gift and it’s made with love.
Your presence as a present
Believe it or not, sometimes your presence is the greatest gift you can give to others. Is there someone in your life that you don’t get to spend a lot of time with? Schedule a coffee break or catch-up session with them over the holidays.
Or even more fun (and a gift for you, too): surprise a friend who may be out of town and not too far (score those nearby deals). Nothing shows your love and appreciation more than giving your dedicated, focused attention to someone who deserves it.
Use plastic for points
Credit cards can certainly get you into trouble during the holiday season, but they can also come in handy. Especially when most credit card companies offer various rewards for points.
There’s no better time than the holidays to cash in on those points! It’s a great way to purchase gift cards or prepaid services for family and friends. Best of all – you’ve already covered the costs. Your recipients are literally reaping your rewards!
Stay on track by…well, tracking your $$
If you’re determined to shop ‘til you drop this season, at least set a budget so that drop isn’t you on the floor after taking a look at your credit card statement. The Nav.it app allows you to create a budget so you can easily track your spending, and lets you create goals with automated savings so you receive regular stats on how you’re progressing toward things like a fully-funded Holiday Gifts fund or holiday travel fund.
Already in credit card debt? Don’t fret! Nav.it has you covered with a variety of tools and calculators to help you identify debt repayment plans and then manage them accordingly.
Secret Santa Swap
Determine a spending limit with your friends in advance and stick to it. The spending limit for these kinds of exchanges is often $20 or less. Put everyone’s name in a hat or bag and draw one name. You’ll be responsible for purchasing a gift for that particular person, and not ALL of your besties. It’s a great way to ensure everyone gets something without spending a ton of money making sure you don’t miss anyone.
Shop local and give back
The holidays are one of the best times to pour back into the community by shopping locally for wish list gifts. Many communities prepare annual “shop local” campaigns, which provide details relative to community based businesses and their holiday offerings.
Here’s how Nav.it can help you save: check out Women-Led Wednesday deals in our app and shop from women-led businesses. Women-Led Wednesday is a purpose-driven holiday that brings together a community of like-minded, female-led brands to promote a more gender-balanced economy.
Gift your time and expertise
There is absolutely nothing wrong with gifting your services or expertise during the holiday season. If your skills and/or services are in high demand throughout the year, put them to good use during the holidays. Some ideas include helping someone with their cover letter and resume, cooking a meal for someone in need, babysitting so parents get a break, etc. Turn something you know you’re really good at into a gift for someone who is looking for you.
Save big with Black Friday
If you’re willing to take on a little crowd action, make your shopping list early and then take advantage of Black Friday deals. This isn’t the most anticipated shopping day of the year for no reason!
But if the thought of fighting with the crowds makes you cringe, simply skip the line and order online. Either way, you’re sure to save some money if you start planning ahead of time.
Related Reads: Why We Don’t Celebrate with Santa
We’re changing the narrative around money but change can’t happen with a one-sided conversation. That’s why we’re excited to bring different voices and experts to share their wisdom. Send us an email and let us know what you think. And remember the nav.it money app offers you free tools like aggregated accounts, automated savings, and debt repayment calculators.
You can download it at Google Play and the Apple Store.