Warning to all millennials who are still working multiple jobs: the holiday season is coming. I repeat — the holiday season is coming!
I know, holidays can be insanely stressful. Not only do you have to listen to your aunt Carol ask you when you're going to get married for the billionth time, but it's also a time when your bank account takes a massive hit.
There are dinners to contribute to and Halloween candy to buy; plus it's your niece or nephew's birthday month, and Christmas is right around the corner which means you've got to spend cash on presents and on travel (either driving, taking the train or flying home to visit the fam).
When you know you've got these upcoming holiday expenses, there's always a few money-saving ideas that can help. Downloadable bill payment apps are always super helpful to keep track of your expenses and pay your bills (Paytm Canada is an awesome option!). Not to mention, a list of some of the best financial tips for how you can properly prepare your bank account for the holiday season is also key. And that's what I'm here to do for you, so let's get started!
Open a second savings account just for holiday shopping (and actually stick to it).
Not only will this help you budget better during the holiday season, but it'll be a space where you can set aside a little bit of each paycheque throughout the entire year. By the time the holidays come around, you'll have a good amount saved up for gifts and other items.
Look for coupons, discounts, and sales, and don't be afraid to shop early.
The worst thing you can do for your bank account is to wait for last-minute shopping. Throughout the year, there are always seasonal sales and big events such as Black Friday. When you shop early at these blowout events, you'll get great gifts for less.
Trust me, it's totally worth it, even if you have to find somewhere to store (aka hide) all your gifts for a few months. Besides, it feels really good to know your shopping is done when you see everyone else scrambling for last-minute gifts (hehe).
Using coupons and promotions are also super helpful for holiday groceries. Make sure to check out what deals are on at your local store and plan your family meals around that.
Cash out the points/rewards that you've been saving up all this time.
Doesn't it feel like every time you shop, you collect rewards and points to different programs? But where do all these points go? We tend to forget they exist and they just keep building up, all the different loyalty programs cluttering your wallet and doomed to be forgotten. For this holiday season, why not cash out some of your reward points to help pay for a few of those necessary purchases?
Paytm Canada is helpful for budgeting and paying your bills, plus when you pay all those holiday bills using the app, you earn points! On the app, you can literally pay your credit cards, electricity, phone bills and more. The more bills you pay, the more points you earn!
You may be wondering what these points can be used for. With Paytm Canada, you can cash out your rewards with some of the most popular brands like Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Netflix, Sephora and so many others.
Yes, you're reading this correctly: you can literally get rewarded just for paying your bills — something you do anyway! Plus, some of these rewards can be used to help ease some of the financial struggle for the holidays.
DIY your holiday decorations for any season — they'll still be cute.
We all love to spruce up our homes to fit the seasonal festivities; it's just part of the fun! But, we don't need to spend a lot of money doing it. There's definitely cheaper alternatives when it comes to decorating for the holidays.
Head to your local dollar store for craft supplies and paint your own pumpkins, write a holiday quote on a rustic sign, and create fake leaf garlands and snowflakes with paper. Who said decor has to be expensive? These DIY projects can look just as cute as any store-bought decor — just check out any Pinterest board for proof!
DIY your own Halloween costume with items you can re-wear.
How many of us have spent money buying clothes for a costume we never wore again? Guilty! Our costumes end up sitting in our closet for years before we finally decide we'll probably never wear them again.
This year, when planning your Halloween costume, try to buy clothes that you could use again. Maybe that white cami and silver, sparkly skirt for your unicorn costume can be useful again! Sparkles work for New Year's Eve, and a plain cami is helpful for any wardrobe piece.
Another option is to get your pieces from your local thrift store, or just rewear an old costume (no one will judge, promise!). I believe in you: together we can save money this Halloween!
Decide to have a non-materialistic holiday get-together.
Although gifts are nice, we know that this isn't the main purpose of the holiday season. Sometimes it's nice to just get together with the fam and friends and celebrate each other's company.
A few ways you can have a non-materialistic holiday get-together is to agree that instead of doing gifts, you're just going to have a family dinner or outing. And if you do decide you want to do gifts, try a DIY option instead of buying. DIY gifts can have a super special meaning, too, making them timeless.
Instead of having a massive Christmas dinner, have a minimalistic one where you don't have piles of extra leftovers. You'll save money by not buying groceries you don't need!
Use an alternative to regular candy on Halloween.
We all know that candy can be seriously expensive. Besides, kids are getting LOADS of it on Halloween anyway. You know what's just as fun, yet inexpensive? Stickers and other Dollarama items.
You can get packs of stickers for seriously cheap, rubber monsters or bugs and other exciting things at the dollar store. It'll save you some cash and give kids something different on Halloween.
Buy all the necessary holiday items in bulk.
You're always going to need plates, napkins, toilet paper, and those other regular, daily items. When you have family and friends visiting for whichever holiday, it's helpful to stock up.
Head to your fav bulking store (it's most likely Costco, am I right?), and grab cart-fulls of all those items. Not only will they be cheaper, but you'll most likely have leftovers for the next holiday. It's the best kind of planning ahead.
Cut back on those "extra" things for the holiday season.
I know you want that Starbucks coffee every morning, but it'll save you almost five dollars every day if you hold off on that for the next couple of months. That amount of cash will definitely add up, and it will most likely help cover the cost of something over the holiday. Time to make your own cup of brew!
Besides, if you jump in on the Paytm app, you can get a reward for Starbucks (hellooo free coffee!) anyway just by paying your regular bills. Maybe there is a way to have the best of both worlds this holiday season.
Avoid the self-gifting we all eventually cave into.
When you're shopping for others, it can be SO easy to find items you love yourself. Eventually, you're coming home with a bag full of new clothes, accessories, shoes, or even tech toys just for yourself. It's time to say NO to that.
Keep your mind focused on what your goal is: shopping for your friends and fam, and only do that. Trust me, it'll help you save a few dollars to put those things you want back on the shelf. Instead, add them to your Christmas or birthday wishlist!
Hopefully these 10 tips help you save a bit of cash over the next few months. The holidays aren't meant to be stressful, so don't let a few dollars make it difficult to get through. Enjoy everything that the next seasons have to offer, spend time with loved ones, and prepare you bank account because you can and will get through it!
Paytm Canada allows you to pay your bills through the convenience of an app on any smartphone. Again, every bill paid will give you points that can be redeemed for cool things like a cup of coffee, a ride home, and so much more!
With Paytm Canada, you get one point for every dollar spent to be redeemed at national brands, such as Amazon, Uber, etc. You can also collect free gift cards when you redeem a minimum of 5,000 points. By just doing simple, everyday things, like paying bills, tuition, and more, you can earn these awesome Paytm points!
The best part is that you automatically get 1,000 points when you sign up, and if you refer a friend, that's a bonus 5,000 points!