5 easy tips to lighten Santa’s load this year

December 7, 2022

For plan members, sponsors, and administrators

Share this “Wellness on a budget” series of articles with your plan members. We can’t control the economy or the rising cost of living, but there are ways to maintain health, wellness, and nutrition during tough economic times.

5 easy tips to lighten Santa’s load (and go easier on your wallet) this year

You better watch out, because you know who is coming to town. And that means shopping, shopping and more probably, more shopping. But 2022 has been a tough one and rising costs everywhere mean you may want to rethink how much you spend.

In fact, a recent study showed that 60% of Canadians plan on spending less this holiday season.1 That might be easier said than done! It’s so easy to get caught up in the holiday frenzy that your best laid plans, well you know …

So here are 5 tips to keep your holidays merry, bright and your debt load light.

  1. Set a budget for everything. This one is harder than it sounds. That’s because people often budget for the presents under the tree, but then forget about all the extras. When you’re setting your budget, remember to include the cost of holiday meals, any new outfits you want to buy for a holiday party, and travel. These costs add up.
  2. Try new ways of giving. Rather than buying for each and every family member, draw names and only buy for one person. Set a dollar amount and stick to it! If you have a large family, buy one gift for a set amount. Then, have everyone pick a number out of a hat for the number of people in the room. Each number takes a turn and can choose to pick a new gift or steal someone else’s (set the steal limit to 3 or you could be all day!).
  3. Get creative. Consider making your gifts. Bake some cookies, write a poem and frame it, draw a picture. All of these gifts are more memorable than a tie, or gloves, or socks. And use your inner artist to save money on gift wrapping. Re-use paper and let your kids colour it. Save the comics from the Saturday paper and use them to wrap your gifts.
  4. Give the gift of time. Shovel sidewalks, cut lawns, babysit, dog sit, help with cooking… The ideas are endless and cost nothing more than your time. The goodwill your gift will bring is priceless.
  5. Celebrate together. The holidays are a great time to spend with family and friends. If you’re hosting, make it potluck. Everyone brings a dish. This not only lessens your costs, it lightens your clean up load, too. Don’t have family close by? You’re not alone! Invite friends or neighbours to celebrate with you. Have everyone bring their favourite holiday fare. Instant party, instant memories!

Bringing joy this holiday season does not have to cost a lot. If you do overindulge, get your savings back on track as soon as you can. Setting some realistic New Year’s goals will help. Stay tuned, we’re going to tell you how to do just that in our new series, How to live big on a small budget. Watch for future articles including: How to eat well for less, How to exercise for less, and How to live well for less.

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