You already know about the gifts and decorations. Here are some holiday expenses you may have not included in your budget this year, along with creative ways to beat them
#1: Wrapping paper
It all ends up in the garbage, but did you know that wrapping paper for your gifts can cost close to $100?
Save big: by purchasing next year’s wrapping paper in January. It won’t go bad and you’ll be ahead of your holiday expenses almost a full year in advance!
All those twinkling lights can cost a pretty penny – or more than an extra $50 on your electric bill.
Save big: by switching your lights to LEDs. You can also consider leaving your lights on for only a few hours a night, such as during the early evening hours.
#3: Interest on credit cards
Too many shoppers put holiday expenses on credit cards and then pay a whole lot more because of interest.
Save big: by sticking to debit cards and cash only. If you must use a credit card, be sure to pay your bill before it starts accruing interest.
#4: Last-minute gifts
Who has time to shop for bargains when it’s two days to Christmas and you’ve only just remembered your boss’s kids?
Save big: by skipping non-essential gifts. Also consider homemade gifts or re-gifting presents you’ve never used.
#5: Eating out
Last-minute holiday prep got you too busy to cook? You might be spending more than you realized on takeout food this month.
Save big: by cooking and freezing a few meals ahead of time for those crazy, hectic, pre-holiday evenings. If you can’t hack it without buying dinner a few times this month, consider purchasing an entrée only and then adding your own sides, salads and beverages at home.