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8 unnecessary expenses to cut from your vacation budget

By on November 3, 2021 0

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With the 2021 holiday season fast approaching, many consumers expect to celebrate in person this year, which means the holidays have the potential to be much more expensive than they were the year before. last.

We have what you need: GOBankingRates Smart Vacation Spending Guide
Save more: Wrapping paper, greeting cards, and other holiday items to purchase only at dollar stores

The PowerReviews Holiday Consumer Survey 2021, which contains information from 7,743 people surveyed in the United States, found that the majority of people plan to spend between $ 500 and $ 1,000 on gifts for themselves and for others. others in anticipation of the holidays. But gifts aren’t the only thing people will be spending this holiday season. Wrapping paper, alcohol, appetizers, vacation attire, and shipping and postage are all expenses that come with this festive time of year.

Find out more: Why do we spend so much each year on holiday shopping?

To help you avoid regretting your debts in the New Year, or just to make the most of your planned vacation budget, here are eight unnecessary expenses you should avoid.

Expensive gift wrap

“One of the most unnecessary expensive items that can be removed from gifts is expensive gift wrapping,” said Scott Hasting, co-founder of BetWorthy LLC. “It adds a lot to the cost of the gift – especially if you’re going to be giving a lot of gifts. Aside from gift wrapping, adding ribbons to wrapping to add aesthetics can add a lot of cost to gifts, but can be removed. I strongly suggest using recycled gift wrap like brown paper bags from grocery stores to save money.

To give you an idea of ​​what you can save, 20 square feet of premium Hallmark gift wrap costs $ 6.99 per roll and 18 feet of tape cost around $ 5.

Tips: From Airline Tickets to Gifts to Your Tree, How to Save on All Aspects of Vacation Spending

Holiday event clothing

If you can’t find anything to wear in your wardrobe for an upcoming holiday event, Lisa Thompson, Savings Expert for, suggested inviting a friend. “Sometimes a new pair of eyes can put together an outfit we haven’t noticed hanging right in front of our eyes!” she said. Better yet, have a clothes swap: invite a few friends over to bring in some of their favorite pieces and see if you can mix and match them all to create ‘new’ holiday outfits for each of you. “

Depending on how much you normally spend on clothes, your savings could run into the hundreds of dollars.

To verify: Your Complete Guide to Getting Forward and Saving on Holiday Shopping

Individual gifts for colleagues

“Instead of buying all the gifts from your colleagues and acquaintances, see if there’s any point in doing a Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange,” said Steffa Mantilla, Certified Financial Education Instructor and Founder of Money tamer. “That way you just have to buy a gift, but there’s an added element of secrecy and gameplay to make it fun. These exchanges also have a budget limit on the lower end, which makes them a great way to save on holiday gift costs. ”

By reducing the expense of purchasing individual gifts, you could potentially save $ 100 or more.

See: 11 gifts you should buy for Christmas now – before they sell out

Fancy wines

“If you’re hosting a meeting at your home, you don’t have to spend a lot to have a huge selection of wines or serve bottles at a great price,” said Kari Lorz, Certified Financial Education Instructor and Founder of Money for moms. “There are so many offers these days, and some at great value! High-end grocery stores can organize holiday wine tastings, where you can sample a bunch of options. If they don’t do tastings, ask the sommelier for their best recommendation in your price range; they will be happy to help you find something that fits your event and your budget!

You can buy a good bottle of red wine for around $ 33, according to Vivino, while a better, more expensive bottle of wine could cost almost four times as much at $ 125.

Modern Money Tag: The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Etiquette Gifts

Fancy party foods

“With everyone getting together for the holidays again this year, it’s going to be so tempting to make things special,” consumer analyst Julie Ramhold said with “But if you’ve never made these premium versions of your favorite foods before, now is probably not the year to start. If your friends are used to seeing home-cooked meals like cornbread and chili, they probably won’t have the same level of enthusiasm for baked brie, even if it’s covered in pecans and honey. Instead of betting on expensive foods that your guests may or may not like, stick to affordable and proven favorites. If you want to get creative, consider hosting a New Years Eve cocktail party with a few small appetizers, rather than launching into a massive, fancy meal.

By going this route, you could save a good chunk of money, regardless of the size of the group you are feeding.

Useful: Don’t let inflation ruin your holiday shopping budget

Traditional holiday cards and postage

“Yes, some people like to spend hours and hours writing greeting cards, but I’m not one of them,” Lorz said. “You can easily accomplish the same thing in 20 minutes online. This will save you money on cards, on postage, and you’ll have hours of your life back (not to mention not having your hand cramped from all this writing)! Instead, use an electronic card for this, again this may take 20 minutes or less, and many sites do this for free.

Christmas cards can cost almost $ 1 each and first class postage is 58 cents.

Do not forget : Shipping, packaging and other extras to factor into your vacation budget

Gifts for people you barely know

“With things returning to normal this year, there’s a good chance consumers will find themselves invited to a ton of different parties, some of which will involve gift exchanges, ”said Ramhold. “Gracefully withdraw from these events if you are trying to save money; As well as keeping more of your money, you’ll also save yourself the stress of trying to figure out what to buy from a colleague you barely know and have only seen once since late 2019. It’s worth it. also for friends of friends. Don’t be ashamed to tap into too many rallies to save your wallet and your sanity this year.

IIf you spend an average of $ 20 on each gift, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars.

Shipping and postage

“If you’re used to sending gifts to friends and family out of town, consider alternatives to paying for these shipping costs, which can add up quickly,” Thompson said. “Can you buy something from a retailer and have them ship the gift directly to the recipient?” Can you buy an experience rather than a tangible gift that needs to be wrapped and shipped? How about a streaming service or subscription box that will continue to donate after December and require no postage? Think outside the mailbox, so to speak, and consider creative alternatives that don’t need to be shipped. Potential savings: $ 50 and more »

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Last updated: November 3, 2021

This article originally appeared on 8 unnecessary expenses to cut from your vacation budget