If you bought a home recently, you understand how easily it can eat up money. From the down payment and closing costs to paint and furniture, it disappears fast. And now as we approach the holiday season, where spending often increases, you may start feeling the pinch. However, all is not lost. If you spent the time working on your budget this year you should know how much you can spend on the holiday gifts. Here is a budget refresher if you need one. But even if you didn’t, I want to share with you some ways to save some money along with a little does of unsolicited advice. Although, you clicked on this post so you must be expecting some sort of guidance!
Walking through the holiday section at Target is like being in a winter wonderland. Everything is bright and shiny. It is tempting to want to buy everything to make you home look like it came out of a magazine your first year in. I know you have put a lot of work into your home and want it to be perfect, but you have time. You will be in this house for a while so don’t rush to get it completely decorated the first year. Here are some ideas to satisfy that holiday décor itch:
- Collect things you really love over time. This will make you house feel more unique and you will have more quality pieces to have for years.
- If you want to have more décor items, you can always check out Pinterest and get some inspiration for decorations you can make to save some money. Just don’t be over ambitious. Know your skill set and limitations to avoid a #pinterestfail.
- If you are looking to save some money outside, maybe skip the inflatables and extra lights. Lights can make a house look great, but you don’t want to drive up your electric bill.
- Shop after the holidays. Hit the sales for decorations for next year. You’ve got a house now so there should be plenty of room to store them for the year.
Gifts for your Home
If your family is looking to give you gifts, this could be the year you ask them to contribute to a larger gift for your home such as a new piece of furniture. If you have had your eye on a new sofa, but felt like the cost was too much, if they ask, let you family know that instead of little gifts, you would like some help for the sofa. I think most parents especially will appreciate that they are helping you buy something substantial for your home that will be with you for a long time. They are also most likely to know that a new homeowner often needs some big-ticket items and help with those goes a long way.
If your budget is tight and you need to cut back, your family should understand most if the gifts you are giving them are less this year. Many of them have been in your position of buying their first home and know how big of a financial step it is. They understand how much it costs to turn the house into a home for you and your family. And this year focus on the fact that the holidays are for spending time with family. Don’t get caught up in the shopping frenzy. Remember what Lucy said in A Charlie Brown Christmas, “Look, Charlie, let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.”
No matter what you do this holiday season, try to focus on the bigger picture. Be grateful that you are a new homeowner this year and have put in the time and energy to make that happen. You worked hard to get to this point. It’s time to relax with family and start making your to do list for next year!