This year, we’ll collectively fork out $465 billion on holiday spending. Of all that cash, about 43% is spent on travel, and another 41% on gifts. Saving in those two areas alone can really help make a difference in your wallet.
A few things the airlines don’t want you to know
When you figure that Americans will spend more than $6 million on air travel during the holiday season, the costs can seem unavoidable. But if you follow a few simple rules, you could save hundreds.
- Avoid buying a ticket for the Friday before Christmas
- Fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Sundays on off-peak hours
- Search tickets for one passenger at a time – airlines tend to jack up the prices when you buy for more than one.
- Clear your browser history, or search incognito. The more airlines learn about you, the more they learn about where your spending habits and the more they can skew the prices based on what they know about you.
Online hacks that’ll help save your wallet
It’s a digital world. And that makes shopping a whole lot easier, but it also opens up the opportunity for huge savings.
- Take Honey for example. It’s a Google Chrome extension that tests every coupon code available, so you don’t have to.
- Amazon Prime is only $99/yr, and it currently gives you free shipping on a ton of things listed on the site – which has some of the most competitive prices already.
- Deal Squad is a site that checks to make sure you’re getting the best price available – you just cut and paste the URL of the item you’re watching.
Go for thoughtful, not pricey
Putting more thought into a gift means you can spend a little less. Say your coworker loves elephants – buy him the elephant socks you know he’d never buy for himself. Same goes with magazine subscriptions. If your dad loves boating, get him a boating magazine – it’s a gift that keeps giving, year-round. Or you can gift what you’re good at – get crafty. Yeah, pecan pie bakers, we’re looking at you. Even if you’ve never tried out a DIY, it’s worth a visit to Pinterest for some inspiration. Sometimes a meaningful gift goes a lot further than one with a high price tag.
Charities need your time, not just your cash
You can give charity a hand without breaking the bank – just give some of your time. And it’s a great way to spend time with your friends and family too. You could volunteer as a group at a food shelter or soup kitchen – or you can look for local opportunities on Volunteermatch.