5 Ways To Save Money For The Holiday Seasons

Around the holidays it seems like time really starts to fly. The calendar year is wrapping up and everyone is focused on getting home to see their friends and family. This usually means you will have extra upcoming expenses like travel, gifts, and entertainment to pay for soon. So instead of just taking it on the chin and paying the bill lets look at 5 creative ways you can save and earn to help you prepare for the holiday season.

1. Check for Unclaimed Property

Here in Colorado the state has set up a website to help Colorado residents find money that is unclaimed. Check in your state to see if there is something similar, be smart and make sure you don’t give personal information to a scam. There are many unclaimed accounts that you could have from years ago that could be the holiday boost you need.

2. Pick Up Some Odd Jobs

For whatever reason it always amazes me that some people act like they are above this one. If you are willing to do some good old fashioned extra work on the weekend there is usually something that you can find to do. It will not be a long-term gig but it can provide you with some extra cash for your holiday needs. Check sites like Craigslist and Nextdoor.

3. Skip Eating & Drinking Out This Weekend

When you get into a weekly 9-5 routine it starts to feel like you live for the weekend a bit. It is natural to want to reward yourself after a long week at work. I am not a big fan of becoming a miser on your journey to financial freedom. However, if you know you have an expensive month coming up its helpful to pump the breaks on your other spending. One of the easiest ways to do this is cut out a meal or skip meeting for drinks. Not only will this help your wallet, but it will most likely influence you to be a little healthier, so you can get after it when those holiday meals do come around.

4. Cash in Your Reward Cards

If used responsibly credit cards can be an easy win come the holiday season. There are a lot of cards with no annual fee that offer good rotating reward categories. It may be too late for you this year but consider getting a card next year that offers these rewards and your normal spending can add up to gifts under the tree by the years end.

5. Sell Some Stuff

Most of us are a little guilty of hoarding certain items. For whatever reason we all have weird attachments to certain things and keep them around for to long. Most of the time we rationalize that we will use the item later when it just continues to gather dust in the corner. Go through your things and if you haven’t used it in the last three months be honest with yourself about whether you will use it again in the future. If not list it on Craigslist, Letgo, or Facebook.


Hopefully you can take one or two of these and use them in the upcoming weeks. Make sure that whatever money you earn or save you pull out of your bank account. Keep this separate from your regular earnings and use it to fund your holiday expenses. You will enjoy the holidays more then ever and can do it all guilt free without changing your personal finance goals!

What Are Your Thoughts?
  1. How do you pay for the holidays?
  2. What ways have you saved money for short term purchases?
  3. Any fun plans for the holidays?

Spread The Wealth!

25 Comments on “5 Ways To Save Money For The Holiday Seasons”

  1. 1. How do you pay for the holidays? – Setting expectations in advance. A few years ago, we agreed to do “secret santa” or one gift a person for everyone in the family. For others, we do a donation to a favorite charity.

    2. What ways have you saved money for short term purchases? – Qapital. Set and forget a fixed amount or a rule-based round up for goals. Another is stagger credit card cash back rewards to cover certain holidays or birthdays / anniversaries throughout the year.

    3. Any fun plans for the holidays? – O.H.I.O!!! Visiting Mrs. BD’s family for Thanksgiving and then at home in Chi-town for Christmas / New Year’s.

    1. Right on Mike, sounds like some fun holidays are around the corner. The secret santa is a great idea for a big family. Donating to a charity is awesome and is what the holiday season should be about!

  2. I love Letgo and Craigslist, that’s a great way to fund for christmas. I’m away right now and I don’t seem to be feeling the “Christmas stress” yet. By the time we get back home we will be about 2 weeks from Christmas. So I’m planning to pare down my Christmas list lol.

    1. No need to feel any stress if you do it right! It is an easy win to sell some things you aren’t using to cash flow other purchases for the holidays.

  3. A fine list! I remember looking into that “lost property” deal a few years back. I have a pretty common name, but there were no accounts I recognized. I did however get a hold of a “missing” IRA account from a past job that had been stashing money into a pension account. That was a nice little $5,000 bonus from Vanguard that had been sitting unclaimed for 12 years.

    1. Dang! Forget the “lost property” that is a good find for sure. I was wondering what accounts are the largest unclaimed accounts out there I am sure someone is sitting on something very substantial and has no idea about it. Good work tracking those funds down.

  4. Some things we are doing to save money:

    1) We booked flights with airline miles to fly to extended family. That saved us over $1,200.
    2) We were planning on leaving kids with grandparents and Mrs.TPM were planning to head to the Carribean after Christmas. Flights were way to pricey, so we decided to postpone this trip. It is for our 10 year anniversary and we are already 2 years late on this trip.
    3) Secret Santa!

    1. Nice job using the miles, I love using rewards when possible. If you know a trip is upcoming and stay ahead of it you usually can take advantage of some good card deals. Make sure to take that trip! 10 year anniversary is a big one don’t let it pass you by reward yourselves and go celebrate.

  5. Guess who recently found $75 of unclaimed property?!

    My goal this year is to come under budget for my planned spending on gifts, and so far, it’s looking like I might be about $200 under! With the new baby, my wife will kill me if I disappear in the weekend for another job and leave her alone, but these are good ideas. The holidays give my wallet stress!

    1. Very nice such a good feeling to get “Free” money even though it was already yours. Haha I can imagine all hands are needed on deck with a new baby. Great job on sticking to a budget in one of the hardest times of the year to do so.

  6. 6. Limit your gift budget. Agree with your friends to spend a certain number of dollars. Stick to it 🙂 Its really the thought that counts.

    1. I completely agree, really all I want to do on Christmas is eat some good food and be able to catch up with my friends and family. So much unnecessary pressure is put on the gift giving part. If you have the funds and want to give then go for it but those who do not should not feel guilty about not spending.

  7. Hey damn millennial! These are great ideas!

    I usually sell junk that I don’t need and I surprise myself with how much I can get back. I love selling on letgo. There’s also another platform called carousell and I personally had success with it.

    I also like your idea about the cash rewards. It’s so true! I usually accumulate that amount during year end and it feels like I have a cushion to spend for Christmas! I also combine this with ebates! Though I don’t shop a lot or waste money on unnecessary things, I still get back a pretty decent amount, especially when ebates have their double cash back specials!

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading this. I think I wanna write something related to saving for the holidays too! I’ll be sure to holla at you if I do 😉

    1. Hi Fin$svvy Panda, thanks for the tip on carousell I have not heard of that one I will check it out. I hear a lot of people like the ebates and ibotta sites, I have personally never used but should sign up. I feel like the gotcha is people end up spending more then they planned with the allure of a rebate, doesn’t sound like you fall in that trap!

      Let me know for sure when you post that one!

  8. Mr. Millennial, My wife and I put every purchase we can on Discover Credit Card. We get on average about 1.5% cash back on all our purchases. We use discovers money for 30 days then pay in full each month to avoid financing charges. I love getting paid to spend money even though we only buy the essentials we need for our lives. All your other ideas are great ones too. Tom

  9. I think a big thing with saving for holidays is planning in advance. I think its something you need to think about months ahead of the actual build up to Christmas. Additionally, like you said – an extra job or something during this time is a great help and something I do myself.

  10. Love the list. All things that I try to do as much as possible. Especially the side hustling aspect and the selling what you can. I’m actually just about to sell an old calculator for $.99 on Ebay this week. I guess every dollar/penny does make a difference. Now it is time to answer your questions.

    1. I pay with savings. I enjoy savings and buying a few gifts for those are happy. So swinging the extra few dollars for family is a nice treat. IT is probably $100 total each year.

    2. Traditional savings means. I also use different sites such as ebates, Swagbucks, Ibotta to earn some extra cash to use.

    3. Relax and hang out with family. I need a breather and it has been a long few weeks. Have a couple beers, watch some football, blog, and take it easy. That is what the doctor ordered here.


    1. Selling an old calculator now that is dedication! How will you add up all those dividends? I know that you are on top of it so I have a feeling the holidays don’t set you back with your goals. Enjoy your well earned break and Happy Thanksgiving!