10 Great Money-Saving Ideas for the Holidays!

1.  Make a plan – who will receive a gift and how much do you plan to spend?  Stick to your plan, keep track of your spending, and don’t spend on impulse.

2.  Start early and give yourself plenty of time to select gifts and compare prices.  We always over buy and spend too much when pressed for time.10 Great Money-Saving Ideas for the Holidays!

3.  Find creative ways to reduce the number of people for whom you plan to give gifts.  Instead of buying gifts for friends make arrangements to make each other dinner or meet for an inexpensive happy hour.  Remember that receiving a gift can be stressful and a nice a card or gesture may be more appropriate.

4.  Suggest that your family or group of friends draw names instead of buying gifts for everyone.  It is difficult and expensive to buy gifts for a large number of people who already have everything.

5.  Exchange white elephant gifts or favorite used books instead of expensive Christmas gifts.  This is especially fun in conjunction with a Chinese gift exchange where everyone gets a chance to steal a gift from the other participants.

6.  Gift a homemade present such as a homemade sauce, stew or soup, a painting, a knitted scarf, cookies, or a pie.  You can capture a special moment by framing a photo or post card or you can create a calendar with some sentimental photographs.

7.  If you have more time than money gift your services such as babysitting, home maintenance, faux painting, cooking a meal, house cleaning, shoveling snow, decorating advice, cooking lessons, a musical performance, or computer instruction.

8.  Rather than providing all the food for your holiday party, ask your friends to bring a dish and a bottle of wine.  Co-host a party with a few friends and share the cost.  If you are planning a neighborhood party, consider a progressive party where each course is served at a different home.

9.  Avoid purchasing expensive new holiday clothes.  Make your existing wardrobe more festive through the use of inexpensive accessories and scarves.  If you really need a new outfit check out your local consignment stores.  Holiday and formal attire isn’t worn very often and is usually in good shape at consignment stores.

10.  Lower the cost of Christmas cards and postage by using post cards, e-cards, e-mail or a simple phone call.  It’s the thought that counts.

Photo by:  Lori Grieg

About the author

Jane M. Young, CFP®, EA, MBA, CDFA

Jane M. Young is a Certified Financial Planner and co-owner of Pinnacle Financial Concepts, Inc. and Divorce Solutions, Inc. She has been a financial planner since 1996. She is also enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. Prior to becoming a financial planner Jane held several management positions at Digital Equipment Corporation and Quantum Corporation, where she worked for 14 years. Jane holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Colorado. She has also completed the two year Certified Financial Planner Professional Education Program with the College for Financial Planning.

Jane is very active in the community. She is the immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs and a past president of Leadership Pikes Peak. She is a graduate of the Leadership Pikes Peak class of 2004. She is a past president of the Financial Planning Association of Southern Colorado and a past president of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Jane is also a member of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, College of Business, Alumni Leadership Team. Jane is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies class of 2009 and a graduate the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute class of 2011. She is also a member of the Estate Planning Council and Artemis. Jane was selected as a 2010 Woman of Influence by the Colorado Spring Business Journal.

As a fee-only financial planner Jane is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, the Financial Planning Association, the National Association of Tax Professionals and the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors. She has been quoted in several local and national publications including The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Consumer Reports, Investment News, MSN Money, Kiplinger Magazine, Financial Advisor Magazine, Bankrate.com and the Colorado Springs Business Journal. She also works as a volunteer instructor to new advisors with the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors and has worked as an adjunct instructor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Jane is from St. Louis, but grew up in Colorado Springs. She enjoys skiing, golfing, traveling, hiking, painting and learning to speak French.

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