3 smart ways to save money even before the holidays arrive

Dread the holidays for the big bills that always follow? You don't have to! Here are 3 smart ways to save you money even before the holidays arrive.

3 smart ways to save money even before the holidays arrive

The holiday season is usually an expensive time of year. Many families find themselves struggling to pay for expenses and resort to using credit cards to pay their bills. While this may work for some, you may end up paying more for your purchases due to interest rates. That's why if you want to tackle the holiday season with enough funds to pay for everything, here are a 3 smart ways to save money even before they arrive.

1. Look for plane tickets early

One of the best ways to save money on holiday travel involves searching for plane tickets well in advance of your travel dates.

  • Travel takes up a large portion of the holiday budget for most families. Sign up for alerts and notifications when prices drop to certain destinations. Several online services even offer apps for your smartphone that will notify you when rates decrease.
  • If you set money aside in advance, you can purchase the tickets when the prices drop.

2. Start shopping in advance

Not only will you save yourself a lot of stress and a few headaches, you can also save money by shopping early. Set aside money each month to pay for gifts.

  • As the holiday season draws closer, look for sales and purchase gifts when they're on sale. If you see something you think would make a good holiday gift at a low price, purchase it on the spot.

If you start buying gifts three months before Christmas, you can finish your holiday shopping well before Christmas Eve arrives.Another tip:

  • Purchase holiday decorations at the end of the current season. Most stores sell wrapping paper, ornaments and other holiday decor at significant discounts (often up to 75 per cent off) at the end of the season. Simply store the new purchases until next year and you couldpotentiallysave hundreds of dollars.

3. Start a holiday fund

Setting aside funds early is one of the best ways to save money for holiday shopping.

  • Open a separate savings account or withdraw cash from the bank and stash it in an envelope.
  • If you plan to buy gifts at a specific store, purchase store gift cards and use them when you're ready.

Decide how much you plan to spend on the holidays and divide that number by 12. Set aside the smaller amount each month. That way when the time comes to purchase gifts and other holiday items, you'll have all the money you need.

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