By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite
Worried about funding your holidays because of the recession? Thinking about cutting back? While saving for the rainy day might be smart in a tough economy, it definitely doesn't make for a fun holiday season. Therefore, it's important to take action now and learn how to recession proof your holidays so you can enjoy them.
• Tip #1 Potluck your holiday meals - When getting together with family, friends or co-workers for holiday meals and parties, don't take on the burden of paying for the entire meal. Let your guests bring their favorite holiday dish. Make it fun by having a contest or making it a recipe swap.
• Tip #2 Raid the Local Dollar Store or Goodwill - You will be surprised by the kinds of holiday items they sell including wrapping paper, wreaths, ornaments, table runners and stocking stuffers. These small items can really add at major retailers so saving here can allow you to spend more on bigger presents for your loved ones.
• Tip #3 Cash in those Coupons - Stores like Safeway and Walgreens are really into giving out coupons that are based on your shopping habits. These could be printed on the bottom of your receipt or emailed to you so be sure to look before you shred. Stock up on dry goods as they go on sale ahead of time to spread out the expense of holiday meals and treats.
• Tip #4 Budget now, Enjoy later - Figure out what you plan on spending for gifts, parties and events now and figure out how much you need to save between now and then. Use this extra time to cut back on Starbucks trips, lunch outings, movies or excess purchases. The .............money you save by cutting a few things over the next few weeks will add up and feel less like a sacrifice.
• Tip #5 Sell your junk on eBay - Ebay is like a garage sale that reaches every corner of the earth someone might want your stuff! This is the perfect time to get rid of that stuff you keep but never use. You'll get the best bang for your buck if you do a little research to see if people are looking for your particular items by searching eBay. All the money you make can go towards funding your holidays or paying the credit card bills.
• Bonus Tip Focus on the Positive of the Holidays - Whatever you do, don’t focus all of your thoughts on the negativity of the recession. Doing so will cause you needless worry and self sabotage. Approach any money saving efforts with a light heart. If you take them too seriously, it will make it feel like a “dreaded” chore. Spend time talking with your family and visualizing a happy holiday season so that everyone is working together. Prepare your kids and family members if there are gifts or parties you won’t be able to participate in or make it a group goal to save now to be able to enjoy later. Good Luck (You can do it!)