45 minutes | Nov 8th 2020

#069 | Reconsidering the Holidays – 6 ways to save money this holiday season

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We start by talking about what we each enjoy about the holidays: spending time with friends and family, and that work slows down a bit. Somehow the holidays have evolved into a time where people spend so much time and money shopping, and it’s not the spirit of the holidays. We urge everyone to reconsider how they are spending their money during the holidays and offer specific tips and suggestions on saving money this holiday season. Mike talks about hygge, and Maggie reminds people to talk to their friends about family about what’s important to them during the holidays.  We talk through six ways to save money this holiday season: Fancy photoshoots + holiday cards – Reconsider spending hundreds of dollars on fancy staged family photos shoots and then mailing paper cards to everyone you know. Instead:Consider taking a casual DIY approach to holiday photos, or explore using a photographer that is just starting out and charging cheaper rates.Consider digital cards instead of paper cards and stamps.Consider making a charitable donation, in honor of your friends and family, with all of the savings from your photos and cards.Wrapping Paper and wrapping accessories – Reconsider spending any money on this. Instead:Re-use and save wrapping from otherUse the inside of brown paper bags from the store. You can also draw on it to decorate the outside of the gift and get creative.Gifts – Reconsider buying tons of gifts for tons of people. Instead:Consider experiences over physical objects.Consider limiting the number of gifts you buy for your kids.Focus on gifts that people need (pajamas, new clothes, art supplies, etc.).Tell your family members you don’t want or need anything. Tell them what you’d rather have instead of physical objects. Consider making homemade and creative gifts using any special skills you have.Consider putting money into kid’s college funds instead of some gifts. Santa Pictures – Reconsider spending a bunch of money on Santa pictures. Instead:Consider finding a less expensive location or option. Look for a coupon or discount. Opt-out of this, especially if your kids are old enough and no longer believe in Santa. Holiday Décor – Reconsider spending a bunch of money on inside and outside décor. Instead:Consider how much holiday décor you need. You can enjoy decorating for the holiday and not have to spend much. A few decorative items or areas can be enough.  Save items from previous years and re-use them.Buy things while on sale at the end of the previous year’s holidays. Holiday Activities – Reconsider spending lots of money on holiday activities. Instead:Consider limiting the number of activities you do. It can cost $150-200 for a family of 5 at these activities. We will do one big activity each holiday season, but we limit it. Make your own fun and inexpensive traditions. For example, drive around, look at other people’s holiday lights while enjoying hot cocoa in the car, or plan a holiday-themed family game night. Ask grandparents or other family members to gift experiences instead of physical gifts. Find a place to volunteer and give back. Give Back – As you’re reconsidering how you spend the holidays, remember that this can be a crucial time of the year to give back to others in need. In addition to doing for good others, it also feels good for you and your family. Volunteering or find other ways to give back.  It can also be a great experience to teach your kids. Top 3 Takeaways:Remember what the holidays are all about. Spend some time thinking about what makes the holidays special for you. Track your spending and make a budget to be more aware of how much you are spending during the holidays. We recommend you do this all year, but it’s especially important during the holidays. Realize that you don’t need to spend a lot during the holidays to be happy. Avoid keeping up with the Joneses and lifestyle inflation.---Show ReferencesWhat is Hygge?---Follow friends on FIRETwitterInstagramFacebookLinkedInLeave us a voicemail or text us: 404-981-3370eMail us at:  friendsonfiremm@gmail.comVisit our website: www.friendsonfire.org---Other LinksMaggie’s Blog: Mostly Minimal LifeMike’s Book: Your New Relationship with Money
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