With holidays just ended, many people are buzzing about how they managed to arrange each party they attended, how they planned their trips to their loved ones or how they come up with the chosen food for the festivities and more. Although all this is great, there’s no denying all those special occasions made it tricky to keep the family spending in check.

To help families to prevent overspending, I’ve compiled some useful tips to trim your special occasion or bigger expenses without compromising festive fun.

1. Make a budget and stick to it.

Are you an impulse shopper? If so, this is for you. Budgeting is the most effective way to prevent overspending. If you have a maximum amount in your head, you’re far more likely to stick to it. Listing the spending limits for presents, arrangements, food and traveling will help you cut unnecessary expenditures.

First set your budget limit (the maximum you can afford without burdening yourself) and then allocate it to presents, traveling and dinners accordingly. Include your kids in the discussion or set a limit for them, for instance, have them choose a gift for under $50. That’s a sufficient amount to purchase a reasonably decent present!

2. Book travel tickets in advance.

If you’re planning to visit family and friends in other cities or countries and celebrate, travel costs—especially during holidays—can really stack up. Your best bet is to book your train or plane tickets well in advance, probably eight weeks before any holiday season. Ticket prices are usually highest around the festive season but booked in advance, they’ll be far cheaper. Another upside is that you won’t have to worry about seat availability.

3. Take advantage of discount codes.

Several retailers offer discount codes for online purchases. With some simple searching you can easily find retail discount codes which can make a huge difference. It’s also good to follow your favourite retailers on Facebook and Twitter as some offer exclusive discounts on social media. Just remember to check their timelines to stay updated on any offers.

(Don’t have enough time for the hassle? Then simply download the Honey extension for Google Chrome. This plugin will alert you whenever your favorite retailer offers discount codes!)

4. Try a cashback credit card.

If you’re tired of searching for discount codes, you could try a cashback credit card. Some offer up to 5 percent cash back on every purchase which can be a real boost to your finances. But don’t forget to pay the full amount back every month. After all, what’s the benefit of a 5 percent savings if you have to pay back 23 percent in interest?

5. Skip the stores and shop online instead.

Yes, shopping at extravagant malls and branded outlets can be a great experience—but a pricey one at that. Various sites like Depop and Amazon offer the same products at much cheaper rates. Furthermore, you can purchase from cashback sites like TBSeen, TopCashback, and Quidco. So you can save time, money and energy by shopping in the comfort of your own home.

6. Go home-made.

Home-made presents are a great way to show love. What can match the thought and affection someone puts into a present made especially for you? Loved ones don’t care about the price it’s all about the thought with this one.

Therefore, you don’t have to spend extensively on branded gifts. The best presents are those that are affectionately selected or lovingly made. Homemade gifts and cards are a great way to personalize presents, show your creativity, and save money. They can even become a fun family activity for cold evenings.

If you’re artistic then let your creative side shine. The more personal you can get the better. Think about what your friends and family are into. Is there anything you can make them that relates to hobbies or interests they have?

Alternatively, you can capitalize on your culinary skills by making delicious treats to send. You can even sell the food or creative props (you’re good at) to earn extra money for that festive budget. In fact, there are lots of creative and easy ways to earn extra money and ease out your spending a bit. This will definitely give relief to a bank account stretched thin.

7. Don’t overbuy.

Always remember not to overbuy especially during shopping. Whether you’re purchasing presents for your family and friends or food for dinner, you should know when to stop.

When in malls and superstores, don’t let the tempting deals like “buy 2 get 1 free” trick you into buying more stuff than you actually need. It’s important that you don’t just buy things for the sake of it—remember that sales happen all the time.

Food is something that plenty of people go overboard with during special occasions. It’s easy to over buy through fear of running out, but it’s really not necessary. Just keep in mind what meals you’re cooking when to help keep your grocery shop in check. This will also help prevent any waste.

How do you keep your family budget in check?


Featured Photo Courtesy: Skitterphoto via Pexels