Tips for Creating and Sticking to Your Holiday Budget

It’s that time of year again! Here are some budget conscious shopping tips as we head into the holiday season.

Set a Spending Limit: Before you start to shop, decide on an amount that you are comfortable with and can afford to spend on gifts this year. Be realistic and firm, and stick to this spending limit throughout the holiday season. Don’t forget to also factor in your regular monthly bills that will need to be paid during this time.

Don’t Forget You Might Need to Buy Other Items Besides Gifts: Other factors to include in your holiday spending budget might be travel, gift wrap, decorations, food, and clothing. These items may be outside of the holiday gifts you are purchasing, but can still add up and blow your holiday budget if you forget about them.

Do Your Research: Before you head out to the store or make an online purchase, do your research. How much do the things on your list cost, and are there any promotions or online deals you can take advantage of to save money? If the items on your list are ones you have purchased in the past, see if you have previous receipts or online order emails to remind yourself how much the items cost or where you purchased them.

Make a List: At the beginning of the season, make a gift list with one or two ideas for each person – within your budget of course. Try to create this list as soon as possible, so that if any of the items on it are on sale – you can get them early and at a discount. Be sure to also stick to your list – once it’s made, it’s made. Try not to buy extras or overspend.

Scale Back: If you’re on a tight budget and your gift list includes many people outside of immediate family or kids, you might need to consider cutting your gift list. Instead, you can always try a homemade gift that’s much less expensive for adults outside of immediate family (baking cookies, crafting something personalized) to save your holiday spending budget.

Try Secret Santa: If you have a rather large family or a big friend group – you can always try the Secret Santa gift method. This way you won’t have to buy an individual gift for everyone – you can simply pick one name out of a Santa hat, the group will set the spend limit together as a whole so it’s the same for all, and then you only have to buy one gift.

Compare Prices: Once your list is made, start doing some comparison shopping to see where you can purchase the items that will save you the most money. Check out early Black Friday deals (which many retailers have been participating in for 2021), Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday savings, and online coupons. Be sure to also sign up for emails with the retailers you plan to shop with this year, as well as follow their social media pages to keep an eye out for timely promotions.

Track Your Spending: Once you start purchasing gifts, keep a tally of how much you are spending to make sure you are in line with your original budget. Keep this as up to date as possible so you know how much you’ve spent and what is still left to buy.

Happy Holidays!

Article Source: News 12 New Jersey

Last Minute Thanksgiving Savings Tips

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, are you prepared? You might be slightly panicking right now if you didn’t set aside money or create a budget for the upcoming holiday. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, everything associated with the holiday can become very pricey at the last minute.

Don’t worry, you’re certainly not the only one who feels this way. Thanksgiving might almost be here, but there are still various ways to celebrate the holiday without breaking the bank – especially if you didn’t plan ahead. Keep reading for some last minute Thanksgiving money-saving ideas that may just be all the help you need.

Save on Thanksgiving Travel

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to get together. As a result, travel is often required and might also be costly. Additionally, COVID-19 restrictions can add to the dilemma. Group gatherings may still be limited, and this could also reduce the number of usual participants. Not to mention, many cities still have travel restrictions in place.

To save money, you may choose to avoid traveling all together this year. Perhaps you’ll instead be able to host a small gathering with close friends or relatives who live nearby, and arrange for a video call with loved ones who live far away. Spending Thanksgiving virtually may not be ideal, but it still has its advantages – especially in this time of an ongoing pandemic. You’ll save money on airfare and gas costs, and also avoid the hassle of meeting the pandemic’s travel guidelines.

If you still want to travel, several airlines and websites do provide lower-cost flights. Keep searching the internet looking for last minute travel deals. Yes, as Thanksgiving approaches – everything may become more expensive, but there are certainly some last minute discounts available if you do your research.

Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner

Whether you plan to make your Thanksgiving meal from scratch or buy ready-to-eat food, preparing this meal can be costly. One tip to save money is to keep your food menu small and simple, especially if you’re on a budget and won’t be hosting a huge gathering. People are likely to be on the move most of the day, visiting various friends and family. Some also tend to over-prepare, making too much food. A lot of food will likely go to waste if you take this route, so plan accordingly for the number of people in attendance – keeping in mind that most guests will only sample a little bit of everything and not eat large portions.

Save Money on Decorating

Preparing and decorating for Thanksgiving can be fun, however at full price – decorations can be expensive. Flex your creativity and make your own decorations if you can. This is an easy method to save some cash and show off your inner artist too. If you are not crafty at all, check out your local dollar store or the sale section of a nearby craft store.

You can also use what you already have in the house too. For example, reuse last year’s Thanksgiving decorations or search around the house for items that you can use for a centerpiece. You may also want to print a banner you can hang up inside, or purchase a small bouquet of fresh flowers from your local grocery store. You can save money while still having a festive Thanksgiving.

In Conclusion

Having a Happy Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a drain on your wallet. Whatever your decorations are and no matter what the menu is, as long as you spend the holiday with the people who matter most, it’s more than enough to make it a memorable Thanksgiving Day. And being thankful is what the day is truly all about.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Article Source:

https://moneypantry.com/thanksgiving-money-saving-tips/

This Year Start Your Holiday Shopping Early

In years past, Thanksgiving (and subsequently the holidays) have probably involved family bonding opportunities and hassle-free trips to the grocery store and mall. However, because of the pandemic and its effects on retailers and shipping delays, the holiday season might look a little different this year.

What Changed?

Because of supply chain issues, fluctuating prices on common goods, and increased consumer demand – shortages are coming into play for the holidays in 2021. Consumers can expect a “shopocalypse” as COVID-related shipping issues slow down the movement of goods from manufacturers to the shelves of retail stores.

International brands aren’t exempt from the effects of COVID, either. For example, the sales of H&M slowed down in September because of delivery delays. Nike, also lowered its sales forecast for Thanksgiving after closing 80% of its factories in Vietnam. Bed Bath and Beyond’s revenue also fell 26% due to shipping issues.

Aside from the disruptions in the supply chain – the holiday season is also shorter this year, which means that retailers have less time to sell. Because of this, most stores will be more incentivized to create deals as early as the first week of November to beat the competition. In short, you can still get Black Friday-worthy deals earlier in November – so if you can, don’t wait and risk running out of your favorite items this year.

With all of the changes happening in the supply chain, it’s vital for you to start shopping early to get ahead of the uncertainties of retail store closures and potential shipping delays.

3 Top Holiday Shopping Tips for 2021

Even though there have been a lot of changes in the retail industry, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy shopping for the holidays this year. Below are some of our best holiday shopping tips so you can still make the most out of the season!

Start Early

Unlike previous years, don’t wait for any major discounts from your favorite retailer before you start shopping. If you’re planning to get someone a new item that’s popular, buy it as soon as possible before the item goes out of stock.

Be Realistic

Some retailers are whittling down their products to ensure that they can keep certain items in stock. When buying products for the holidays, don’t fixate on a specific color or style. Be realistic and consider other styles of the same product.

Shop From Local and Domestic Stores

When shopping for gifts, buy from local and domestic stores. Aside from having the opportunity to check out the items in person – shopping from local stores (rather than buying items online), is also the best way to make sure that your loved ones receive their gifts on time.

Start Shopping Now

As you shop this year, don’t forget that 2021 has taken a toll on everyone — from small business owners to customer service associates. Help businesses recover from the pandemic by shopping early and only buying items that you need.

Budget Friendly Halloween Party Hacks

Are you tired of hosting the same Halloween party over and over — and spending a lot to boot?

You might have searched high and low to find budget-friendly Halloween ideas, but with no such luck. Or maybe you saw something that interested you, but was so expensive that you had to put it on the back burner for another year.

The answer is really as simple as making your own decorations and party treats. So, let’s give your home the Halloween party look you want to have this year — on a budget.

Halloween Party Ideas on a Budget

Is it really October without at least one Halloween party? Trick or treating time is quickly approaching, and if you’re looking to get creative but don’t have the time or money to hire fancy caterers or set up elaborate decorations – these easy hacks will get you the best results on a budget.

DIY Halloween Decorations

DIY projects are inexpensive, easy to make, and customized, and unlike store-bought decorations (that typically look the same every year). It also allows for time to strengthen your family bond as you create your decorations together. Check out the following decoration ideas below:

Make a Halloween-Themed Bento Box & Other Treats

If you’re planning a party for a group of kids, it’s a good idea to have Halloween-themed bento boxes on hand. This can also be a great way to keep kids entertained.

There are also other Halloween themed food ideas that you can try. Check out the list below:

Halloween Photobooth Props

Taking party pictures is a must, so why not make props for a Halloween photo booth? This will also add to your party fun! Here are some ideas and a link to purchase a set of them or download some free printables:

  • Ghost Face Photo Booth Props
  • Witch-Themed Photo Booth Props
  • Pumpkin Photo Booth Props

Haunt Your Kitchen with Spooky Foods

Making creepy Halloween food doesn’t have to be that difficult or time-consuming. Just add some homemade Halloween props to your dishes, and you can instantly spruce up your table.

The Takeaway

It’s not necessary to go to a specialty store to get Halloween-themed props or decorations that will blow your budget. Sometimes, a simple yet detailed idea is a big hit. Use the above tips (and don’t forget to check out your local dollar store as well), to make your own Halloween party decorations and snacks — for a fraction of the cost.

Happy Halloween!

 

 Article Source: Pinterest.com

How to Save on PSLs this Fall

If you’re a pumpkin spice latte lover – this is probably one of your favorite times of the year. However, this tasty Fall coffee drink can get expensive. How can you save some money during PSL season? Follow these money saving tips!

1. Join a rewards program. If you’re a frequenter of Starbucks, Dunkin, or Panera Bread for your PSLs – make sure you subscribe to their rewards program and use their mobile apps for extra savings. You’ll be able to rack up points with each purchase for future discounted or free menu items.

2. Make your own PSL at home. It’s much easier than it may sound! Follow this recipe, which will get you two 10 ounce pumpkin spice lattes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 4 Tbsp of canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup of brewed coffee or espresso
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Directions

  • Stir the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice together in a stovetop pan over medium high heat. Bring it almost to a boil, but don’t actually let it boil. Stir constantly and after about one minute, the mixture will begin to froth.
  • Pour the mixture into two mugs, then slowly add your brewed coffee or espresso by pouring it at the edge of the cup so your milk stays frothy. If you’d like, top with whipped cream and another pinch of pumpkin pie spice topping or a dash of cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

3. You can also DIY your own pumpkin spice coffee creamer. If you’d rather brew your own regular coffee at home, but make your own pumpkin spice creamer – check out this easy recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 & ½ cups of heavy cream or half & half
  • 2 Tbsp of canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp of maple syrup
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks

Directions

  • Whisk together the cream or half & half, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice in a small stovetop pan over medium heat. Add a cinnamon stick and turn the heat up until the mixture is boiling, whisking occasionally.
  • After one minute, take the mixture off the heat and let it cool for five minutes before adding it to your home brewed coffee.
  • You can keep the leftover creamer in your fridge for generally about one week afterward – just be sure to shake it before using. Enjoy!

And there you have it – three simple ways to save on the most popular coffee drink of the season. Happy Autumn!

 

Article Source: Pennyhoarder.com

Halloween Fun on a Budget: 12 Costume Ideas Using Common Items in Your Home

No matter what your age, it’s hard to not get excited for Halloween. Whether you’re going to a Halloween party or trick or treating, one of the best parts is getting to dress up. Halloween costumes can be expensive, so what are some ways to save this year?

To come up with an easy Halloween costume on a budget, scan your closet or check your pantry for things that you can easily transform into festive attire. Your craft box and garage may already have the items that will level up your Halloween experience.

If you still need some inspiration for a great affordable costume, we have some fun ideas to further inspire you!

Instagram Filter

Add a modern twist to your costume party by dressing up as an Instagram Filter. Bring out one of your empty cardboard boxes from storage. Trim the box into a large rectangle to transform it into an Instagram frame. Cut out a square hole in the middle of the frame so you can peek out from behind it. Paint a filter on the frame. Get ready to pose as if you were snapping an IG selfie!

Magic 8-Ball

Bring a touch of magic to your festivities by wearing a Magic 8-Ball costume. Put on a black shirt and black pants. Cut a white piece of paper into a circle and tape it to your shirt. Snip out an “8” number from a black piece of paper and stick it to the middle of the white circle. Make a paper hat and write down some Magic 8-Ball answers on each section. Wait for others to consult you about their questions!

Audrey Hepburn

Say hello to Audrey Hepburn as you don a sleeveless little black dress to start your Breakfast at Tiffany’s look. Matching black gloves, large sunglasses, and pearls will help you nail this costume. Oh, and don’t forget that croissant and coffee for a complete ensemble.

Tiger

Paint black stripes on an orange t-shirt. Prepare ear cutouts and paste them onto a headband. Don’t forget to print a mask or paint your face with orange, white, and black to finish the tiger look.

Superman

Become Clark-Kent-who’s-about-to-transform-into-Superman by wearing a Superman shirt under a jacket. Wear reading glasses as part of your disguise.

Lara Croft

Show your adventurous side along with a tank top, khaki shorts, and jungle boots. Braided hair and aviator shades will make you stand out as Lara Croft.

Wednesday Addams

Nail the classic Wednesday Addams look using a long-sleeved black dress over a white-collared shirt. Braid your hair and apply some dark lipstick too.

Stick Figure

Get a plain white shirt and matching pair of pants. Then use electrical tape to create the lines for a stick figure. Draw a head on a paper plate and wear it as your mask. Multiply the fun by making the same costume for the rest of your family.

Miss Universe

Be glamorous for Halloween by wearing an evening dress. Wear a Miss Universe sash, and flaunt your crown as you sashay the evening away.

Mime

If you’ve got a striped white shirt, suspenders, and a pair of white gloves – you’re almost ready to dress up as a mime. All you need is some white face paint and you’re good to go. And don’t forget to get into character by trying not to talk!

Greek Goddess

Take a white top sheet, wrap it around your body, and tie the two ends on your left shoulder. Get a thin belt, a cord, or a golden chain – and wrap it around your waist. Leaf accents in your hair add to the subtle charm of this Greek attire.

Ghost

While we’re on the topic of top sheets, if you’ve got an old one – cut out holes for the eyes. Going as a bedsheet ghost is one of those fun, classic old school costumes everyone should try at least once!

Are You Ready to Dress Up for Halloween?

Hopefully the ideas above can inspire some costume creativity this Halloween. If you look, you’ll most likely find that your home is a treasure-trove of easy to use costume pieces that will work great for your DIY Halloween outfit – and save you money in the process.

Have a great Halloween!