By Suzy McCoy
It’s already November, and that means that the holiday season is officially upon us. Right about now we’re usually gearing up to gather with loved ones, shop for gifts and travel to see family - making it a cheerful, but expensive, time of year.
Last year the average person planned on spending about $1,047.83 during the holiday season, and families who typically travel planned on spending even more.1
2020, of course, has shaped up to be a bit different - the holidays included. That could mean there are quite a few expenses you won’t have to budget for this year, especially if you plan on staying home and socially distancing during the holiday season.
Expense #1 You'll Save This Year: Holiday Parties
Hosting parties is a great way to bring your family and friends together to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. But planning those parties and entertaining guests can be stressful on you and your bank account. The cost of decorations, food, catering, wine, gifts and fancy holiday outfits all add up quickly. By keeping your gatherings small or seeing your loved ones through FaceTime this year, you’ll be able to stay healthy and cut down on your spending by quite a bit.
Expense #2 You'll Save This Year: Gift Exchanges
Not everyone gets excited to participate in Secret Santa with their co-workers. And even if you do, finding the right gift can be costly and time consuming during a season that’s already busy. With a great number of businesses continuing to conduct business remotely, it’s likely your team may not be having any sort of gift exchange this year - meaning there’s no need to find a gift for a coworker you (in all honesty) may not know that well.
Expense #3 You'll Save This Year: Travel Expenses
Traveling, whether it’s to visit family or enjoy a getaway, can be pricey any time of year. But with demand high during the holidays, airfare and train tickets tend to skyrocket. With social distancing amidst the pandemic, it’s likely that many people will be staying home for the holidays. If you’re inclined to stay in town this time of year instead of traveling, you could be saving hundreds on airfare, gas, train tickets, rental cars and other travel-related expenses.
Expense #4 You'll Save This Year: House Sitters and Pet Sitters
No traveling also means that you will be able to sleep in your own bed and stay home with your furry friends. House sitters and pet sitters aren’t cheap, and boarding your animals at a kennel or pet resort can be even more expensive. Luckily, this year you will be able to celebrate the holidays with your pets by your side while simultaneously saving the money that would go towards their care - this could be considered a silver lining for staying home (especially for your furry family members).
Expense #5 You'll Save This Year: Impulse Buying
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holiday sales make it easy for consumers to spend impulsively. In fact, the average person spends $419.52 on Black Friday.2 This year’s holiday shopping will look a little different, as most stores have limited capacity and don’t offer dressing rooms in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Staying home can limit possible exposure to the virus and eliminate the temptation to pick up everything you see in stores just because of a discount sign. If you’re brave enough to go out for Black Friday, prepare for lines to likely be longer than usual.
Life during a pandemic is stressful. Instead of breaking the bank on parties and travel this year, take the time to relax in the comfort of your own home. Hopefully with your savings you will be able to make the most of this unusual holiday season.
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