I know what you’re all thinking, “It’s the holidays, we’re going to spend a lot of money and there’s nothing we can do about it”. It’s simply not true. You don’t need to break the bank to have a fun Thanksgiving. I love holidays, but they are so over-commercialized. We are programmed to think that we must spend a ton of money on the holidays, because the retail industry has brainwashed us into it. I’m not a bah, hum-bug, I promise. I just like to be practical, and I know man you do, too. Here’s my list of ways to save some cash for Christmas this Thanksgiving holiday.
- The obvious tip, have a pot-luck style Thanksgiving. This isn’t tacky, it’s very common. You prepare the main dish, and ask your guests to bring drinks, sides, and dessert. You won’t be running around the kitchen all day, and you’ll spend a lot less money on food.
- Stay home, and visit the family on Christmas. Thanksgiving is important, but wouldn’t you rather go home for the Christmas holidays? Instead of flying home for a couple of days, have a bunch of friends over, play some drinking…I mean board games, and reminisce about what kind of year 2009 was.
- Either avoid or be smart about Black Friday. I’ve given you a lot of tips about how to get prepared for Black Friday, but let’s face it, some of you will still go hog-wild and get caught up in the frenzy of the first day of holiday shopping. If that’s you, skip Black Friday.
- Use your leftovers to make lunches for the next week. You’ll be saving money from eating out for lunch.
- Avoid going to the movies. A lot of people love going to the movies on Thanksgiving or the day after Thanksgiving. The movies are so expensive for a family and impersonal. Instead, get fresh air by going to the park and playing a game or just hanging out.
- Invite the parents in town. Have the parents come to you, and for those of you with kids and have to work on Wednesday and Friday, your parents can watch the kids, and you won’t need to pay for child care.
- If you want to get ahead on Christmas shopping, try Cyber Monday. It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving, and online retailers have their version of Black Friday. You can avoid waiting in lines, shop in your pajamas (or at work, shhh!!!) and still find some great deals.
Remember, the Thanksgiving holidays are a great time to show acts of compassion and mercy. Be kind to others this week and be as generous as possible. If possible, do a volunteer project with your family. It’ll be much more rewarding than going to an amusement park or the movies together.