"♫ ♫ Fa-la-la-la-laaaa-la-laaa-laaa ♫ ♫"
'Tis the season to be jolly...even if you can't carry a tune. But, when you don't have enough cash to pay for holiday expenses, it may not be as easy to enjoy the season. Don't worry - you can still participate in all the yuletide fun, even on a tight budget.
Here are some clever ways to join in on all the merry-making festivities, even if you sound "pitchy".
Set a Budget
The pressure to buy the perfect gift for every family member, office mate, and friend from college (thank you social media!) is real. It can also get expensive – fast! Before you open your wallet, make sure you have a plan in place for how much money you'll spend this season. A holiday budget can help you track spending in real-time and eliminate the stress that comes from overspending. Assign a maximum dollar amount for each spending category. If you prefer to use a credit card for its money-saving 0% introductory APR or rewards points, make sure you have a plan to pay off the charges in a short time period.Host a Potluck
A potluck dinner or brunch could help save money on your holiday grocery bill by encouraging guests to bring their favorite dishes. Besides filling your table with delicious food, you’ll get lots of new recipes in one night. Also, having more than one person cook for the holidays lessens the burden of cooking and cleanup!Shop Early
Retailers have already sounded the sleigh bells about how the global supply chain will negatively affect your ability to snag popular toys and electronics this season. Holiday deals aren't as attractive when the discounts are on items you don't want or need. So, start your holiday shopping now to help ensure you get every item on your list without having to pay higher prices due to limited quantities.Get Creative with Homemade Gifts
Make your gifts instead of buying them! Put a smile on a loved one's face when you show off your cooking or craft skills. The items don't have to be overly complicated or time-consuming. For example, you could make simple holiday treats like sugar cookies and peppermint bark and package them in a decorative tin or bowl.Seek Low-Cost Entertainment
You might be surprised how easy it is to save money on entertainment without sacrificing your festive spirit. Attend a play, listen to holiday music, or enjoy other activities. Discover free and low-cost holiday entertainment hosted by local malls, community centers, and churches by checking online community bulletin boards.Use Alternative Wrapping Paper
Skip this tip if you already have a stash of holiday gift wrap and trim. For the rest of us who forgot to stock up last January when retailers were practically giving it away, keep reading.
Visit your nearest recycling center and search for the comic section of the Sunday newspaper. Use the colorful print to wrap gifts. Or, save a trip and use items you have around the house, like fabric scraps, old sheet music, paper grocery bags, and scarves. Finish them off with fresh greenery, cinnamon sticks, or leftover ribbon.
Bonus Tip: Mark your calendar to shop for holiday wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags and boxes the week after Christmas. Shoppers can typically buy these items for up to 90% off.
*Logix Federal Credit Union is not affiliated with any outside sources, and is a separate entity. Please contact Logix at (800) 328-5328 or visit www.lfcu.com if you have any questions about this topic or would like to consider opening an account.