The holiday season often derails budgets with extra spending and expenses. However, some intentional planning and savvy saving put you ahead instead of behind when January rolls around. Follow this calendar of daily money tips from December 1st through New Year's Eve to maintain financial control.
Tip #1: Create Your Holiday Spending Plan
Map out expected gifts, travel, grocery shopping for any parties, and other holiday costs in a detailed budget so they don't ambush you. Identify areas to cut back as needed.
Tip #2: Set Up Automatic Savings Transfers
Have a portion of your income direct deposited into savings accounts monthly to force yourself to save rather than spend it. Putting this money into your local bank or credit union high-yield savings account can help you build an emergency fund and enjoy high interest rates helping you to grow your money.
Tip #3: Negotiate Better Rates for Monthly Bills
Call providers to request reduced rates on cell phone bills, cable/internet, insurance etc. to free up holiday cash.
Tip #4: Take Online Surveys for Extra Income
In your downtime, earn cash by sharing your opinion through SurveyJunkie or Swagbucks. Surveys add up!
Tip #5: Rent Out a Spare Room
If you have an extra bedroom, renting it out to a roommate provides rental income to cover seasonal splurges.
Tip #6: Cut Unnecessary Expenses
Analyze bills to trim fat like unused streaming services, club memberships, and other charges you won't miss. Cancelling unused subscriptions is one of the fastest ways to lower monthly credit card debt.
Tip #7: Sell Unwanted Items Online
Gather up old electronics, clothing, and furniture and list them to sell on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
Tip #8: Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
LED bulbs cost more upfront but use wayyy less electricity and last years longer, saving significantly over time.
Tip #9: Review Credit Card Rewards Programs
Maximize points, airline miles, and cashback offers by using optimal cards for purchases you’ll make anyway.
Tip #10: Contact Utility Companies for Bill Assistance
See if you qualify for winter electric bill financial assistance or budget billing programs to even out seasonal highs.
Tip #11: Search Coupon Sites Before Online Shopping
Tip #12: Host a Holiday Potluck Instead of Big Dinner
Ask guests to bring a dish so you save on food costs hosting parties. Bonus: Less cooking and clean up!
Tip #13: Score Free Cell Service to Save $600+ Yearly
Did you know 40% of U.S. households qualify for FREE cell phone and internet service? Federal Lifeline and ACP programs offer this to families participating in various government assistance programs.
EASY Wireless provides discounted or free cell phone coverage using major carrier networks without expensive monthly bills. Households receiving FREE service save approximately $600 per year they can now bank for holiday costs instead.
Put that $600 towards funding merrier holidays across an entire year. Learn if you qualify through EASY Wireless and cash in on cell savings this holiday season and all year round in 2023!
Tip #14: Work Overtime and Holiday Shifts
Pick up extra work hours for premium holiday pay you can allocate just towards Christmas. Teachers can pick up tutoring work.
Tip #15: Turn the Thermostat Down
Every degree cooler during winter cuts energy bills while still keeping your home comfortably warm and you bundled up.
Tip #16: Do Weekend Side Gigs
Drive for Uber or Lyft, clean houses, run errands etc. for supplemental cash that won’t affect your day job. Have your side hustle money go direct deposit into a separate savings account so we won't be tempted to blow your budget with this extra cash.
Tip #17: Stop Eating Out As Often
Skipping restaurant meals around twice a week saves about $100 monthly to redirect towards seasonal costs.
Tip #18: Cancel Impulse Purchases Within Return Windows
Sleep on bigger buys and exercise return policies during the frenzy of holiday sales to avoid unnecessary costs.
Tip #19: Research Extended Holiday Return Policies
Many retailers offer January return deadlines so if you did overspend, backtrack. Check return conditions first.
Tip #20: Use Cash Only for Remaining Holiday Season
Ditch the plastic to supercharge your savings self control and consciously feel every dollar leave your wallet.
Tip #21: Set Up Payment Plan For Upcoming Property Taxes
Check if your town or mortgage company lets you evenly divide annual tax bills instead of one lump escrow withdrawal.
Tip #22 Make Your Own Gifts This Year
Heartfelt homemade gift ideas cost less and often get remembered longer by recipients.
Tip #23: Keep Credit Card Spending In Check
Pay in full each month. Check balances daily so you're not paying interest month after month.
Tip #24: Use Holiday Down Time To Organize Records
Shred old docs, file papers, and update important computer files so you start 2024 off responsibly.
Tip #25: Get Relatives Gift Cards to Their Favorite Stores
Then whatever they splurge on comes out of your relative’s pocket, not yours!
Tip #26: Buy Discounted Gift Cards to Save on Regular Expenses
Stock up on discounted gift cards from grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants you frequent anyway. Check out this article from the Krazy Coupon Lady for a list of gift card options.
Tip #27: Review Next Year’s Benefits Options
Squeeze savings boosts for 2024! See if you can save by choosing different health insurance deductibles or 401k contribution levels.
Tip #28: Research Best Days for Holiday Clearance Shopping
Circles highlight ideal days for rock-bottom savings for next year on decor, supplies, clothes etc.
Tip #29: Make a 2024 Financial Plan
Map out big-picture money goals for the upcoming year. Where do you want savings, debts, investments etc? Set up a monthly budget and stick to it.
Tip #30: Spend 10 Minutes a Day Learning New Ways to Save Money
The internet is full of free educational sites and tools to help learn how to effectively change your spending habits, practical budgeting tips, the best type of bank account for your money and how to reach your financial goals. Take time to read one article a day and watch your knowledge grow.
Sites to help you learn to start saving money include:
Tip #31: Wake Up On January 1st Ready to Crush 2024 Savings Goals
After the holiday hustle and bustle, wake up with fresh money motivation. Review tips that worked well and set your sights on your brightest financial year yet!
Through conscious effort, holiday season costs prove manageable not catastrophic. A few daily money-savvy choices let you enjoy the magic without financing it for months afterward and put you in a great position to crush your 2024 savings goals!