Just like that, December is here and the holiday season is in full swing. Between the gatherings, gift giving, and travel, it may seem like holiday spending always finds a way to balloon more than expected. This can be even more daunting if you’re saving to purchase a home in the New Year. We wanted to be of good cheer and give you some tips on how to spend less this holiday season, while enjoying it just the same. 

1. Ditch the plastic and pay with cash. One of the easiest ways to avoid post-holiday debt is to look at your holiday budget, withdraw that money from the bank, and once it’s gone, you’re done spending. And if you need to use a credit card for online shopping, simply set aside the amount from your cash budget.

2. Do a potluck. If you’re hosting a holiday party, who says you need to buy all the food and do all the cooking? Ask your guests to each bring a dish! This will help your wallet and it’s a great way to initiate conversations around the table. You might even be given a few new recipe ideas!

3. Try DIY gift giving. Instead of going on a shopping spree, rethink the idea of giving gifts. Considering baking, framing photos, or making a craft item for your loved ones. Not only are these ideas inexpensive, they can also end up being more memorable than the alternative. 

5. Buy bulk items. Whether it’s items for hosting, wrapping paper, or decorations, using your wholesale membership for things like these usually help in the saving department.

4. Re-think gifts with your partner/spouse. If you’re planning to buy a house next year, consider taking the money you would have spent on each other and put it toward your future home! First-time homebuyers can simply keep the money in savings for their down payment, and existing homeowners can put the funds toward a project that will add resale value to their current one.

6. Skip the traditional holiday cards. Between the cards, postage, and maybe even photos, physical cards can end up costing you more time and money than you think. Consider sending out e-cards instead. They are a low-cost (sometimes free!) way to connect with loved ones, while still being able to  spread cheer and highlight your family.

7. Avoid last-minute spending. If you’re reading this and you haven’t planned your shopping for holiday supplies or gifts, what are you waiting for? Waiting until the last minute can trigger panic buying, which could lead to overusing your credit card or tapping into your savings. So, be methodical with your shopping!

We hope these ideas help you save a little more for the home you want without having to sacrifice the joy and togetherness that make the holidays so great. And once you’re getting closer to making that home purchase, get in touch with one of our Loan Experts who will put you on the path toward the right mortgage.