Birthdays and holidays can be pretty big expenditures. Especially with children, there are always parties to plan and gifts to buy. Last-minute runs to the store or late-night crafting sessions are typical occurrences to which many parents can relate. In order to stay sane while keeping your budget at bay, the right amount of planning is key. Here are five tips that can help you fend off the holiday jitters and not only save money, but even add a few extra bucks to your pocket.
1. Seek help from fellow sufferers
Whether it’s about finding the right party theme, coming up with innovative decorations or planning the perfect holiday meal – the internet is ripe with helpful advice and good ideas that can set you off in the right direction. It can also point you towards good shopping deals as well as special sales or stores in your area.
Consulting blogs written by other parents also allow you to benefit from other people’s experiences and learn about their ways and tricks with their children. In fact, why not collect your own ideas and findings about the topic and start your own blog, or use the services of a web hosting company to set up your own website!
2. Start your gift hunts early
Why is it that each year Christmas comes sneaking up on us to hit us shamefully unprepared? The answer is simple: Many of us don’t plan ahead of time. Christmas and birthdays are fixed dates that don’t need to come as surprises. If you want to find good deals, it is necessary to scour the internet or the retail stores before everyone else breaks into the annual shopping frenzy and companies start raising prices.
Why not let the kids write their wish lists early and use a slow summer weekend to shop for presents. If you’re looking to buy a larger gift, it can also pay off to take advantage of post-holiday sales and snatch a good deal. However, keep an eye on your expenses and don’t let the Black Friday bargains sway you to purchase more than you actually need.
3. Resell unwanted gifts
We all have unwanted gifts sitting around in our closets that we don’t like nor use. Instead of giving in to clutter, you should try to sell them on the internet and make some money off of them. No matter the gift, there are always people on Ebay and Co. who are looking for the exact item you want to get rid of. True, reselling stuff can be time-consuming, but it increases your budget and allows you to splurge a little later on.
You may also want to get your little ones on board for this. Parting from unused toys can be a valuable lesson to teach to your children. Explain to them that they cannot receive anything new unless they make room for it first.
4. Budget together with your children
Children’s birthday parties can be quite costly and require a fair amount of planning. If you want to grant your child a certain level of decision-making power, you should first determine the budget before letting them pick what they want to do for their birthday.
Even with younger children, it is important to let them take part and give them the option to choose. However, make sure to explain right away that it can either be one or the other in order to avoid unnecessary conflict and arguments.
5. Keep the gift-exchange to a minimum
Proposing a Christmas without presents will probably not be too popular with your kids. After all, they make the holidays all the more enticing. Once you’re past a certain age, however, the idea of a relaxed holiday season without the need to find everyone the right gift sounds all the more appealing. One option is to keep the gift-exchange limited to the little ones.
If you don’t want to miss out entirely on all the gift-giving fun, there is also the option of having a “white elephant gift exchange” where everybody has to bring a present of similar value and receives another one in the end. It is a fun way to pass the time and will ensure that no one gets too Christmas crazy.