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6 Ways to save during the holidays

With a bit of planning and some tried and true strategies, you don’t need to go overboard this holiday season.

23 December 2022Tassie Milne 2 min read
Materials for a winter wreath
Photo by Davies Designs Studio on Unsplash

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No matter how hard you may try, you'll likely notice an increase in your spending over the holidays. With get-togethers with family and friends, holiday events, and seemingly never-ending Black Friday sales, it's a challenge to stay on track when it's the most wonderful time of the year.

But with a bit of planning and some tried and true strategies, you don't need to go overboard this holiday season. Here are six ways to save.

If you don't set a holiday shopping budget, it's too easy to overspend. Think through how much you're comfortable spending on gifts so you know how much you can realistically spend on each person on your list. Your budget will also help you resist marketing gimmicks that make it tempting to blow through your budget.

Your credit card is a great tool to help you access credit, but the holidays unfortunately, don't give you a free pass to use it as much as you want.

Whatever you purchase with your credit card during the holidays, you will eventually have to pay back. You'll also need to pay interest on purchases if you fail to pay your credit card bill in full, and defaulting on your credit card payments can negatively affect your credit score. You'll also want to keep an eye on your credit utilization (how much credit you're using out of the total amount available to you) to keep your credit score in good standing.

The holiday season, unfortunately, is when scammers are on the prowl. When you're shopping online, be sure to pay attention to details on the website before entering your credit card number or any personal information. Check to make sure the website is actually what it says it is and the payment methods are encrypted. Also, do not click emails that seem off, especially when they offer heavy discounts. Learn more about how to protect yourself on the web.

Regifting isn't a bad thing and doesn’t deserve the bad rap it gets – especially at this time of year. There is nothing wrong with regifting a perfectly acceptable gift to someone who you know will appreciate it more. If it’s a valuable gift and the tags are still on, it’s fair game.

If you're in a less-than-ideal financial situation this holiday season, you're not alone. The looming recession is hitting many Canadian families hard, and this holiday may look different than previous years. There is no shame in the handmade gift game. Whether it's a knit scarf, a homemade friendship scrapbook, or baked goods, handcrafted gifts can provide a sentimental (and cost-effective) touch.

Did you know that Canadians throw out 540,000 tonnes of wrapping paper and gift bags during the holidays? Try low-cost and environmentally friendly options like newspaper or cloth and embellish them with whatever you can find outdoors or around the house. You could also purchase reusable cloth bags as an alternative to gift bags.

The bottom line The holidays are about relaxing and spending time doing what you love to do most; gifts are just the cherry on top. Time is the most valuable gift of all, so be sure to enjoy every minute of it!

Don't forget, getting your credit score and report and sharing the gift of financial knowledge with your loved ones is also free. Check your credit score today with ClearScore. It's free, forever.

Tassie Milne Image

Written by Tassie Milne

General Manager - ClearScore Canada

Tassie heads up ClearScore Canada. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two young boys. In her free time, she can be found at the family lake house or playing ball hockey.