Spending money during the holiday season can be fun. However, you do not want to be a victim of a personal budgetary crisis at the end of the period. You can choose to put your financial expenditure under control and enjoy your holiday fully by embracing a few great hacks and avoiding some common financial pitfalls. Here’s what you need:
Prepare a Budget… and stick to it
Drawing up a budget sounds like an easy thing to do to save money. However, many people fail to use this simple hack. Moreover, those who prepare budgets do it the wrong way, thus ending up missing the whole point of planning for expenditure.
You can save lots of money if you prepare a budget the right way and stick to it. The best approach is to start by listing down all your expenses and their matching costs. While doing so, ensure that you do not fall into the trap of underestimating any expense item. Be as accurate as possible and include even those expenses that are not regular on your monthly or weekly budget.
Having a well-drafted budget can help you avoid overspending your money. Also, the practice of budgeting can enable you to get all the things that you would like to have during the holiday season. In other words, if you use a budget, you can get value for your money because you will spend it only on the things that matter.
Avoid putting up in hotels
Staying in hotels during travel or holidays can be quite expensive. Typically, hotels overprize their services because they need to make margins based on the substantial investments that go into establishing them. Although many hotels offer Bed & Breakfast offers, their prices are way too high for anyone who is interested in spending money wisely.
It is because of this reason that you should go for cheaper alternatives such as home sharing options that you can use to cut down the costs. Some of the most common sites that offer the services include Airbnb.com and Couchsurfing.com. Thus, home-sharing is a decent, unique and better way of getting accommodation than staying in hotels.
Get a part-time gig
Did you know that you can work and make money even when you are on holiday or traveling? Thanks to the gig economy, people can spare a few hours and do small tasks for cash online.
Besides, there are lots of sites that offer small jobs on a freelance basis. You can choose from general outsourcing sites that post all manner of employment or specialist ones that are in line with your career or passion.
Regardless of the approach you choose, the bottom line is that you can make a few extra bucks by creating an account on any suitable freelancing site and doing a small assignment, all at your convenience.
Book flights smartly
There are many things that you can do to keep your travel expenses down and save money while on holiday. For example, you can save a couple of dollars by merely booking for flights on little-known websites. Such travel agencies usually struggle to compete with the big boys in the industry. Therefore, the small sites occasionally offer considerable discounts to clients. You can take advantage of such offers and save your travel expenses.
Similarly, it is possible to save some money while booking for flights by doing so from outside the country. Given that the booking is online, you can use some of the conventional methods of hiding one’s location online to take advantage of the differences in prices that the firms charge clients based on their location. Using a standard VPN or RDP can help you book for a flight from a virtual place at a lower price than what you would otherwise pay if you book from here.
Carry your cash and card
Although using a card to make payments is the norm nowadays, there are many occasions when it is cheaper to use some money than a card. If you are planning to travel to different countries while on holiday, then it may be a wise idea to carry your cash and card.
The good news about carrying cash and card ready for use is that some merchants give offers for payments done by cards. Thus, if you have your card available, you can take advantage of such a deal. Similarly, it may be more convenient to use cash rather than the card when making small payments in some countries.
Avoid buying things that you do not need
The primary cause of overspending during holidays is buying things that one does not need. Did you know that you can have maximum fun during the holiday season without getting into debt? If you pick up every fanciful item you come across, then the chances are that you may end up broke by the end of the season. Besides, merchants tend to raise the prices on their items. Thus, people spend more money when buying things during the holidays than any other season of the year.
To beat this trap, only buy the things that you are sure are important. Also, plan for everything and stick to your budget (again) to avoid overspending on things that you do not need.
Avoid common tourist destinations
Avoiding common tourist establishments can help you save a lot of money this holiday. Most of those famous places are quite pricey. Interestingly, many little-known destinations still charge visitors modestly. Also, most of the small sites have all the features that you will find in big establishments. You can take advantage of such places and avoid overspending on getaways to popular destinations.
One more hack that you can do to save money this holiday season is early planning. You can make a lot of mistakes if you are fond of making last minute travel, shopping, and even holidaying decisions. If you intend to travel, take your time, and plan early. If you plan to buy something, start planning soon and determine the amount of money that you would like to spend on the item.