By Victoria Blanco

Are you and your your bank account ready for the upcoming holidays?

These upcoming months can be expensive if your family is planning flights and road trips home for the holidays, as well as purchasing gifts for loved ones.

Some strategic ways to save money while participating in the holiday festivities:

1. Sign up for a cash-back rewards card! 

My choice of rewards card is Discover as they automatically match all of the cash back I’ve earned at the end of the year! I earn 5% cash back when I use it on Amazon or a plane ticket to Mexico! Discover is great, especially if you have little to no credit or you’re a college student, as their approval rates are feasible!

Rewards cards really do the trick and can surprise you as you continue to boost up your rewards earnings!

 

2. Tips to Save on Holiday Travel Expenses

Traveling during the holidays can be a hassle and costly, but there are ways to reduce the headache of crowds and big spending.

Try flying from SMF on the day of the holiday as cheaper fares are offered on Thanksgiving and the day after. If it’s just a short flight, you’ll still make it in time for the holiday dinner!

Also the first and last flights of the day will always be the cheapest. Nobody wants to be up at three in the morning or after a long day to catch a flight.

Besides cheaper flights, you’ll avoid the crowds! Sacramento airport is less busy during these hours and dates and you’ll be able to drive up to the terminal and walk through security instead of waiting in a long line to even get into the airport.

If you can’t travel the day of,  try to plan to travel the last week of November or the first week of December for cheap travels before the holiday mayhem and the price hikes. And of course, travelling on a Tuesday (except Thanksgiving) or Saturday would also be cost effective as those are the slowest days. Now would also be the time to put your rewards card up to use!

 

 

3. Save Money on Gifts

Many of us buy gifts at the holidays, but gifting can burn a hole in your wallet, especially if you wait until the last minute. If you charge/pay for your travel with your rewards card in October, then in November you can take care of buying your gifts on your card.

Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shopping online is so much easier, quicker and convenient and you’ll avoid those holiday crowds and crazy bargain shoppers at Arden Fair, Westfield Galleria at Roseville and Westbridge Plaza!

A homemade gift  is also a cheaper option, if you add unique personal touches for your friends and loved ones, they’ll love your thoughtfulness and care that you put into crafting their gift.  Hobby Lobby and Michael’s on Arden Way have many options and great prices. 

 

The Only Thing Left On Your List is to Enjoy the Holidays!
You’ve purchased your plane tickets, secured everyone’s gift, what’s left to do? Enjoy the holidays of course!

Holiday expenses are inevitable, but you do not need to overspend, sticking to a budget with be less stressful, and the most important thing is the time you spend with loved ones, not the money spent! Now relax and enjoy your time-off from work, and enjoy family time!