15 ways to save money during the holidays

Many people find it easy to spend money during the holidays, especially during the festive season when everyone is in a good mood. However, you can still make memories without going overboard and breaking the bank. Here are 15 ideas to help you save money while still having a good time during the holidays.

1. Plan ahead

The first and most important thing is to make sure you protect your wallet and  yourself from future inconveniences by planning. Set out a budget on the things you will need to purchase from, food, decorations, travel etc. Planning ahead will prevent you from over spending on things that might not be necessary for you to spend on which will only break the bank. Know what you need to pay for and buy and work backwards. This way, you can stay disciplined, and not overspend. 

2. Use cash

It is difficult for most people to keep track of their spending when they are using credit cards when purchasing stuff during holidays. Thus we advise you to use cash only. Have a particular amount of cash set aside for the things that you plan to buy during the festive season which may include gifts, clothing or food. When the cash is finished it will mean shopping is over. 

3. Avoid FOMO, continue saving 

It is critical to continue saving even during the holidays, just as you have done all year. Don’t get caught up in the holiday FOMO. Set aside your savings and don’t use the holidays as an excuse to reduce your savings. If you receive a bonus, save a portion of it in a savings account or a fixed deposit rate account. Which can help your money grow.

4. Get a head start on your holiday shopping

Shopping for your holiday earlier is a wise decision because prices skyrocket during the holidays. Early shopping will also allow you to avoid overspending or deviating from your budget. As a result, make it your goal to complete your holiday shopping well in advance of the holidays.

5. Avoid using the credit card

Don’t buy it if you can’t afford it. It’s all too easy to swipe it away, especially during the holidays. Take a deep breath and focus on the big picture, which is the importance of saving money. It could be that lovely dress or watch you think is nice but is way above what you had budgeted for. A credit card may appear to be an item that allows you to buy whatever you want at times, but misusing your credit card can have a negative impact on your finances and lead to bad debt. So proceed with caution. 

6. Shop smart

Rather than buying groceries at any price, look for specials where you can get them for much less. Each and every penny counts!

7. Be cautious  with the gifts 

Instead of buying large, expensive gifts for your family and friends, consider replacing them with small, meaningful gifts. These can be homemade, experiences, or crafts. You don’t have to buy large, expensive gifts for your loved ones when you can give them gifts that have the same effect but are less expensive. Writing a poem or making a memory book are both inexpensive gifts that you can give to your loved ones.

8. Buy things in bulk 

If you intend to entertain a large number of guests over the holidays. It’s a good idea to buy in bulk because it can save you money. Purchasing individual items can be more expensive than purchasing in bulk. Food groceries and frequently used items such as paper plates, napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper are examples of items to consider buying in bulk.

9. Budget friendly entertainment 

It’s not an absolute rule to go out for dinner in expensive restaurants to have a great night during the holidays.There are other activities that you and your loved ones can participate in that do not require you to spend a lot of money. Pool parties, game nights, movie nights, or even a relaxing evening on the sofa binge-watching your favorite films or series are all good options.

10. Bring and share

During the holidays, it is customary for most people to prepare large quantities of food for guests, for which they bear the entire cost. This holiday, however, you can ask guests to bring a dish to share. This will save you a significant amount of money.

11. Take a trip 

A trip can help you save money depending on the size of your family. Instead of buying gifts and going out on holiday nights, take a trip for a few nights, relax by the pool, have a nice meal together at a nice restaurant, and visit a free exhibition. 

12. Go small on decorations 

Many people place a high value on decorations during holiday seasons such as Christmas. This holiday season, instead of buying decorations, try making your own. Instead of spending a lot of money on items you might only need for a week or less, be creative and save money.

13. Order online 

Ordering online can help you save a lot of money. Most South African online shops offer lower prices on their online stores than they do in-store. Ordering online can also help with price comparison. As a result, instead of purchasing an item that is way more expensive than it is in another store, simply do a price comparison and purchase online.

14. Don’t go overboard 

During the holidays, you may be invited to a number of parties and get-togethers, requiring you to spend a great deal of money on clothing, host/hostess gifts, travel, and other expenses. It is critical that you exercise restraint and decline most of the invitations. Avoid any situation that requires you to spend money that you did not intend to spend this holiday.

15. Use rewards program cards 

Holidays are an excellent time to take advantage of the rewards programs offered by several South African supermarkets, such as Pick n Pay smart shopper, Checkers’ Xtra savings, Woolworths’ Woolies reward programme, and so on. Since you will most likely be doing a lot of shopping during the holidays, reward programs will save you money.


Spending money during the holidays can be very easy and tempting, but it is important to practice self-control. If you strictly follow the advice given above during the holidays, you will certainly be able to save a significant amount of money.

15 ways to save money during the holidays

Staff Writer

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