5 ways to enjoy the holidays without breaking your budget
A new survey reveals that Americans say the holidays will give them something positive to look forward to, after many people had to curtail last year's holiday celebrations due to the pandemic. In the new 2021 Coinstar Holiday Survey, respondents said that while gift buying may go down this year (one-third plan to buy fewer gifts), people overall are looking for more activities that bring them holiday joy - as they still manage their budgets.
Here are tips to help boost your holiday spirit, without breaking the bank.
1. Embrace regifting
If you've ever thought about regifting a present to someone who might actually enjoy it, you're not alone. According to the survey, more than one-fourth (28%) said they're likely to regift something this holiday season.
There's nothing wrong with regifting, and here's why:
* It saves you money
* Reusing is good for the environment
* Your closet gets a little less cluttered
* You may be giving the absolute perfect gift to someone else
Be sure to regift with care, and not give the gift back to the same person who gave it to you!
2. Use spare change to stretch your budget
When finances are tight, you may be surprised to learn that you have more spare change lying around than you think! Check your purse, couch cushions, car or change jar for loose change. Survey respondents estimate they have approximately $123 in spare change at home, and over half (52%) said they are likely to cash in or use their spare change this holiday season. This newfound cash can be used for buying gifts, decorations or donating to others.
It's easy to cash in your spare change at a Coinstar kiosk in your local supermarket. At the kiosk, you can convert your spare change to cash, a no-fee eGift card - or even donate to charity, which makes it perfect for boosting the spirit of giving.
3. Deck the halls with holiday spirit
Nothing brings back your childhood sense of holiday wonder and magic better than beautiful colored lights and holiday decorations, whether at your own home or around your neighborhood. Over 90% of the people surveyed plan to decorate their homes this season, and three out of four say they will start or increase their tradition of driving around to enjoy decorations and lights nearby - a fun and no-cost activity to delight your whole family.
4. Bake a little joy for the holidays
Baking is one of the most fun and inexpensive ways to spend time with your family, as well as being a great way to create giftable treats. In the survey, 80% of Americans said they will start or increase their home baking this holiday season. Find festive tins, jars or holiday-themed plates to load up with goodies, wrap in foil, then stick on a colorful ribbon and voila! A tasty gift anyone would love to receive.
Baking not your strong suit? No worries. You can find pre-made refrigerated or frozen cookie dough in most stores, so you can still have the fun - and delicious aroma - of homemade cookies without all the fuss and muss.
5. Bring joy to others by giving
Giving to others can bring unexpected holiday joy. After more than a year of challenges, nearly two-thirds of Americans (61%) say they'll start or increase their donations of money or volunteering time to charity this holiday season.
Another way to feel the warm glow of giving to others is by tipping service providers who help you throughout the year, from your childcare provider to your mail carrier. Well over half (57%) of Americans say they tip service providers during the holidays.
It doesn't take a lot of cash to make the season bright. Revisit the traditions you have with friends and family and perhaps create a few new ones to make this year memorable. Approaching the holiday with an attitude of creativity and gratitude will go a long way toward capturing the joy of the holiday season.