Since back to school season has came out of nowhere, and summer has come to a close, it’s a great time to start preparing for end of the year holidays. Family holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we know it, and it’s always good to get a head start on these things instead of waiting until the last minute. Whether you plan on staying home for the holidays or going back to your home town with your family, here are some things you can do starting this month in preparation:
- Start looking for travel arrangements: The early bird truly catches the worm when it comes to making travel arrangements. If you already know your destination and the duration of your trip, start pricing travel now. You can get a great deal on flights, train trips, and hotels if you start looking now. Bundle packages can save you a lot too, if you decide to book your flight and hotel together.
- Keep an eye out for daily deals: ‘Tis the season of giving, and it can get expensive. If there’s a store, product, or service one of your loved ones has had their eye on, keep an eye out to see if there will be a daily deal coming around for it. You can save quite a bit of money getting a gift via Groupon and LivingSocial. This isn’t just limited to physical gifts either. You can gift a Groupon or LivingSocial voucher, including for travel and experiences!
- Start a dedicated savings account: If you didn’t do this in the beginning of the year, it’s not too late! Start a dedicated savings account specifically for holiday expenses. This could be food, gifts, travel, whatever you have to spend money on during the holiday season. Put money towards it and use it for holiday expenses only.
- Buy, cook and freeze: If you know things will be a little too hectic to truly cook a good dish or meal, buy your materials early, cook it ahead of time, and freeze it. Come time you actually need to serve it, all you have to do is thaw it out and throw it in the oven. This will save you a lot of time and stress, and possibly money if the ingredients you use are on sale.
- Change traditions: Who said traditions can’t be changed? If there’s something your family does every year that you’ve noticed is putting a dent in your finances, chances are you’re not the only one feeling this way. Propose a change and a compromise. Maybe instead of one person cooking the entire meal, you decide to do a potluck. Maybe the adults will decide to forgo gifts and focus just on the kids. Talk it over with your family now so no one will be disappointed later.