Life is expensive, and it’s especially expensive during the holiday season. Between gifts for your family members, various gift exchanges you’re obligated to participate in, tipping mail deliverers and garbage collectors and anyone else in your life who deserves tips, and so on, your holiday spending can get out of control quickly. Luckily, there are things you can do to financially plan for the holiday season so you feel comfortable with your spending. Here are some tips on how you can best manage your money during the holidays.

1. Plan in Advance

Several months before the holiday season, it’s a good idea to start putting money away for these months when spending is high. Even setting aside just a little bit of money each month adds up so that you have a nice little holiday fund come the fall. Even if it’s not enough to cover the full amount of holiday expenses, every little bit helps!

Additionally, there’s no reason not to shop for the holidays months in advance. If you see a good deal on a toy or decor or another holiday purchase at any time of the year, go for it! Make that purchase and put it away. Spreading out your purchases throughout the year is a great way to prevent an excess of costs condensed between one or two months.

2. Shop After the Holiday Season for Next Year

Similar to our tip about planning in advance, take advantage of post-holiday sales to purchase items for next year. Right after the holidays, decor and even toys and gift items usually go on deep discount. It’s a great time to buy something that’s usually pricier. There are few better feelings than when the holidays roll around and you realize you have all you need already hidden in the closet.

3. Host a Garage Sale

When was the last time you went through your kids’ toys, your clothing, or your home decor and gathered up what you no longer use and is just sitting around as clutter? Selling items you no longer need or that your kids no longer play with that are still in good condition can give you a nice boost of cash to spend on new things for yourselves for the holidays. It’s a nice way to declutter, recycle, and make money at the same time.

4. Make a Budget and Shop Less

This may seem obvious, or it may seem like it’s not an option, but it always is. You don’t need to buy new decor every year. You don’t have to get your kids expensive gifts. You can create the holiday spirit through family time without spending much (or even any!) money. You and your spouse can agree not to get each other gifts this year if money is tight, or maybe just something small rather than going all out. If you really don’t feel you can afford it, there are also probably some gift exchanges you can quietly opt out of. Sticking to a budget can really help you manage your money during the holidays in an effective way.

We Can Help You Manage Your Money During the Holidays

At DeSantis, Kiefer, Shall, & Sarcone, our experts can help you plan financially for any scenario that comes up throughout the year. The holidays are a particularly stressful time, including for people’s budgets, and we can help you prevent that stress through money management strategies. The tips above are just a few of the ways you can be prepared for the increase in spending during the holiday season!