Friends! It's the second week of December, which means we're truly in the thick of it.
And by "it," we don't just mean holiday cheer, but holiday spending!
*cue the panic sweats*
But! Fear not. Instagram's resident "Queen of Frugal" (she boasts 299K followers on Instagram) and creator of the blog "Fun Cheap or Free," Jordan Page, shared her five best tips for saving money during the holidays — one of which will jump-start you for next Christmas, too!
1. Employ the Old-School Envelope Trick
Jordan says to set your budget for each person or gifting category and write it on an envelope. Keep that envelope with you handy all month long as a reference. Plus, use it to store all your receipts, so you can see how good you're doing about keeping to that budget!
2. Make the Most of Technology
Today's apps don't just help you shop, they help you save money, too! Jordan loves Rakuten, which gives you cash back for shopping online, as well as ShopKick, which rewards you for shopping in stores. All your bases covered! (And FYI, grocery shopping counts, too!)
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3. Go on a Spending Freeze
In a total budget crunch? Don't fret! Just commit to one full week of no spending (save for absolute emergencies or bills that have to be paid). Other than that, you're not allowed to shop. But at the end of the week, you'll be surprised to see how much money you saved — and ALL of it can go towards your gift list!
4. Put Everything You Want to Buy in an Online Cart — and Walk Away
Jordan says this is a great tip, because while you might walk away, the company certainly won't! They'll see your full cart and might just send a coupon to incentivize you. (Yes!) Many stores will also monitor your items for price drops and email you as soon as they do. All around, it pays to be patient!
5. Set Your Budget — in January
Last but not least, when you set that budget, set it early — like January early! This way, as Jordan notes, you can start contributing then, and by the time December rolls around, you won't even feel the hit to your wallet!