Author: Silvia Cortes
Greetings working moms! Snow on the ground is a sure sign the holidays are approaching and this year we received beautiful snowflakes very early during our fall season. I gladly welcomed the early winter because I had enough hot days this past summer to last me until next summer and like the feeling of being cold, for a change. The challenge with the holiday season is that we can easily be distracted with all the shiny, expensive, material things that have taken over and hijacked the best time of the year. Let’s join forces and take back our season of traditions, family time and let’s create new memories.
- Set expectations! Have conversations with your family and friends about gifts to find out how they feel about gift giving during the holidays. During these conversations, you can explore gift exchanges, handmade gifts, white elephant and maybe a new tradition that costs less. This is a great time to set dollar amount limits on gifts so your loved ones have an idea what to expect.
- Plan ahead! Make a list and check it twice. Buy gifts at bargain throughout the year and dig through your stash when getting your gifts together.
- Focus on experiences instead of expensive things. As a working mom, our time is definitely a gift and our family knows it. Plan a family day, bake cookies, have gingerbread house building competitions, watch holiday movies as a family and so much more.
- Take advantage of free events around town! Find hosting organizations you support so you feel good about purchasing goods and services at the free events. You can also eat a good meal before attending or pack snacks and drinks to avoid paying the inflated prices at holiday events.
- Use cash back websites when purchasing items online! I love Ebates and especially their black Friday bonus cash back sale.
- Use price tracker websites to notify you of price drops. I usecamelcamelcamel.comfor my Amazon shopping to view price history, price watch lists and get alerts when they drop below a target price.
- Consider pre-owned toys and gifts! Check thrift stores, eBay and the Mercari app for wish list items. You can often find them at a reduced price.
- Give non-monetary gifts! Just imagine the face of your teenage son or daughter if they are gifted a chore free day. Imagine how lucky the recipient will feel when you give them a pass for an at home manicure. Pro tip: a hand written gift note might seem cheesy now but 10 years from now will be such a treasure to read. Think of gifts you would love and consider giving those non monetary gifts to your friends and family.
The motivation to cut back is not easy because we want the thrill of new things. Valuing financial freedom over material showmanship is my motivation to always find ways to save. How will you save money this holiday season?