Holiday chaos is soon upon us, and it’s always easy to let holiday spirit take over the financial decisions. While no one wants to be a Scrooge this time of year, there are a few ways to keep festive spending to a minimum.

Make a detailed list

Whether you have 5 or 50 to buy for, you can manage your spending by creating a detailed list. Write down every single person you need to come up with a gift for, from your grandma to your garbage man, and keep it separate from your brainstorming list. Think of the ideal number you would like to spend on presents (this does not include your food or décor budget) and divide it up as needed throughout your list. This will give you a strict idea of the types of gifts you can buy the people in your life!

Give experiences

After being stuck inside for the majority of the year, wouldn’t it be nice to have an excuse to get out of the house? That’s where gifting experiences comes in to help the holiday. There are all sorts of socially distanced and safe ways to get out into your community, and giving those opportunities as a gift is often more less expensive and more enlightening. Horseback riding, cooking lessons, wine or coffee tastings, are all great gifts to give and receive, as well as stimulating the local economy.

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Utilize sales

Black Friday is great, but it’s not the only day of the year to score excellent deals. Armed with your list, you can scour the internet for different retailers and do a thorough cost comparison. Don’t discount your local shops as well, they may be having special offerings around the holidays that beat the big stores. The Black Friday holiday has also stretched to a full week, as well as Cyber Monday deals that will help your holiday budget stay in check.

Buy gifts as a group

You are rarely alone in the mission to purchase the perfect present. In-laws, siblings, cousins, friends, everyone that could be tasked with seeking out an individual gift that fits their budget, or you could take advantage of the common goal and get something spectacular that will also not break the bank. Getting together with your siblings or a group of friends will double the brainpower and lower the overall cost of a nice gift.

Maintain healthy credit use

It’s incredibly easy around the holidays to let credit card charges go way up, so responsible credit use is key when planning for the end of the year. Utilizing credit cards with cash back or rewards on purchases you’d already be making anyway, is an excellent way to save some change this year. HomeTown Bank’s credit cards offer different card options with varying rewards programs. Either exchange points for reward merchandise and other perks, or earn up to 1.5% cash back on qualifying purchases. While credit cards are a good option for earning rewards, be conscious of your spending and track all purchases made, to be sure to spend responsibly.

Holidays can get hectic, but with some careful planning and a little more effort, you can create the dream holiday for your family without breaking the bank. We hope you enjoy this holiday season even with the given circumstances. Happy holidays from HomeTown Bank!