Saving

How to Have A Meaningful, Yet Frugal Holiday: Mint’s Personal Finance Roundup

photo: AMagill

It’s the holiday season once again, and isn’t everyone excited? No matter what shape the economy is in, we should still enjoy the holidays. After all, this time of year isn’t about the price or quantity of gifts we give, or even the pomp, glitz and glamor of our holiday decorations. It’s about getting together with family, friends and loved ones, and remembering the things that matter.

So this week, let’s check out what the personal finance blogosphere is drumming up for the holidays.

How Much Are You Spending This Christmas?

Let’s start off with understanding where our spending weaknesses lie. As they say, “knowing is half the battle.” Credit Sesame brings us What’s Normal for Consumers to Spend This Holiday Season? The advice here is that we should be aware of our holiday spending temptations (whether they are in the form of gifts, decor, or even greeting cards), then develop and stick to budget boundaries for each category.

Simple Ways to Save on Gifts

While we are on the subject of learning how to stick to our budgets, let’s review some ways to save on gifts. One of the best ways to do so is by Making Gifts For Friends & Family as suggested by The Smarter Wallet. Not only will your gifts be unique and memorable, they’ll also communicate thoughtfulness and caring, given that you went to great lengths to craft special gifts for your loved ones.

Another great way to save on gifts is by regifting. Canadian Personal Finance Blog discusses Holiday Regifting in Families – Hand Me Downs = Regifting, which is a great way to save on toys for your kids. It’s a fact: kids outgrow their toys. Think about regifting as a money-saving strategy if you’ve got kids who are willing to let go of toys that are in mint condition. This way, you’ll avoid letting these toys gather dust in your attic, while also making another kid really happy this season.

Even More Money-Saving Holiday Tips!

Christmas decorations are a big part of the winter season. This is a category where many people overspend. You may want to take SquawkFox’s challenge, which she describes in Christmas Decorations: 5 Ways to Decorate Your Holiday Table on a Budget. She offers a few frugal decorating tips that can help you keep your holiday budget under control.

To find even more tips on how to save this holiday season, check out this great list by Rather Be Shopping: “The Savings Squad”: Holiday Shopping Tips Edition. You can find everything from post-Black Friday deals and holiday charity ideas to tips on saving money on your holiday feasts! This awesome list covers almost everything you need to remember, plan for and budget.

Despite the fact that we all are on a quest to save money, you will still find some pricey items that you just won’t be able to resist buying. To get the best deal, arm yourself with guidelines on getting the best value for your money. Good Financial Cents presents Are You Really Getting the Best Deal? 5 Things to Consider When Comparison Shopping. This is a great guide to help you when you weigh your purchasing choices. You may be surprised to find which “deals” are, after all, not really deals.

Capturing the Moments Without Breaking the Bank

Speaking of pricier items, do you have a good digital camera to capture those holiday moments for posterity? If you need help figuring out how to choose a digital camera, here is a great guide by BestInClass.com: Choosing a Digital Camera for Photos of Children or Pets. Kids and pets are known to be fickle subjects, so try out the tips here to produce some awesome photos.

Make A Little More Money For The Holidays

We end our roundup with tips on how to Earn A Little More Money By Christmas. Peak Personal Finance outlines suggestions for odd jobs you can take on to earn a little more cash by the holidays. Wouldn’t you like to extend your budget with a little more pocket money? These effective suggestions can show you how.

We hope you enjoyed our picks. Here’s to sticking to your budget, stretching it, and even adding to it this holiday season. Have a meaningful one!

Silicon Valley Blogger (SVB) runs The Digerati Life and The Smarter Wallet, where she writes about  general personal finance topics such as investing, budgeting, debt management and small business ideas.