Inflation is making it harder for families to manage everyday expenses, and many can expect a tighter budget this holiday season. Overspending could create debt from credit cards and other sources which also accrue interest and late fees. Still, it’s hard to say no to family members who want to celebrate the holidays with travel, gifts, and lavish meals. If the pandemic, rising living costs, and other factors are making it harder for you to enjoy the holidays the way you usually do, it’s time to get creative. Read on for more tips about saving money during the holiday season. Of course, these tips won’t always be enough- if your debt has gotten out of control, call our office at 480-448-9800 for your free bankruptcy consultation.
Hosting vs. Traveling
Depending on where your family lives and how your family celebrates the holidays, hosting may or may not be cheaper than traveling to relatives. How many children you have (and how many will be with you for the holidays) can also affect travel versus hosting plans. While gas prices have finally plateaued after a long period of skyrocketing, driving may still be cheaper than flying if your family lives relatively nearby and/or you would need to buy plane tickets for multiple children. If your family lives far away and flying isn’t feasible, hosting may be the cheaper option. However, hosting often comes with the downside of providing most or all of the food (and alcohol). If traveling is infeasible for your family members as well, consider using a tablet or other device to attend holiday celebrations remotely.
If you haven’t tried couponing yet, the holidays are the perfect time to start. Red coupon dispensers lining the aisles of grocery stores aren’t as common anymore, but you can still find sales, deals, and coupons from the flyers for your local grocery stores. You can also check the websites of manufacturers of products you like, as they may offer coupons that can be stacked with coupons offered by grocery stores. There are also independent companies that offer coupons. For example, Ibotta offers cash back on select purchases from several stores. Many items, especially newly released products, will be offered with steep discounts or 100% off. If you can combine these types of deals with manufacturer and grocery store coupons, you can actually end up making money off certain purchases. Of course, the amount of money you can profit from couponing will be small if you are able to achieve it. But the amount of money you can save from couponing can be tremendous. The other downside to couponing is that you may not be able to find all the items you need for your recipes on sale/coupons, and coupons can restrict brands and other available options.
It can be tempting to bring a cart to your local Walmart or Target and buy every holiday decoration that catches your eye. But even at big-box store prices, these purchases can add up quickly. While you might not be able to craft yourself string lights or a fake pine tree, there are limitless possibilities of other decorations you could create using household objects. Simple items like paper towel rolls and popsicle sticks can be reworked into décor with some yarn, paint, and glitter. Crafting homemade ornaments can also be a fun holiday activity with the family. While you can probably find enough items around your house to craft if you’re creative enough, Amazon and other retailers sell affordable decorating kits based on the specific holiday.
Some holiday activities like ZooLights and The Nutcracker Ballet can be fairly expensive, especially when buying tickets for the whole family. Spending a few dollars at the store can make movie nights at home more special. Pick up a tin of tri-flavor popcorn and some packets of hot cocoa and consider the following themes for movie night:
- Claymation Classics: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman
- Old School Favorites: Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life
- Comedy Night: Elf, A Christmas Story
- Holiday Horror: Krampus, A Christmas Horror Story
- Holiday Adjacent: Die Hard, Bad Santa
- Jim Carrey Night: A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Visiting a state park isn’t what comes to mind for many people thinking of family activities during the holiday season. However, several Arizona state parks offer special activities- often with discounted admission fares- at the end of the year. These could potentially be new traditions within your family that are memorable and relatively affordable. Below are some of the events offered by Arizona’s state parks during the 2022 holidays.
Boat Parade of Lights at Lake Havasu – Admission to Windsor 4 area of Lake Havasu State Park will be free Saturday, December 3, 2022, starting at 4:30 PM. Families can watch boats adorned with holiday lights traverse the Bridgewater Channel under the London Bridge.
Victorian Christmas at Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park – This free admission event includes a scavenger hunt, caroling, magic shows, and other kids’ activities. This event runs Saturday, December 10, 2022, from 9 AM to 5 PM. The Tombstone Light Parade begins outside at 6 PM.
Patagonia Lake Holiday Fun – This holiday event at Patagonia Lake State Park includes a visit from Santa. For those who are parking at the camp, there will be an award for the best-decorated campsite. The event begins on December 17, 2022, at noon.
Riordan Mansion State Historic Park – Riordan Mansion Park will have several special holiday events from December 1, 2022, to January 6, 2023. The mansion will be decorated throughout this time, and admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. There will be Christmas Twilight Tours on December 22, 23, 26, and 27, 2022 from 5 to 6 PM. Admission to the Twilight Tours is $12 per person. There are also Luminaria Walks on December 23, 26, and 27, 2022 from 4 to 6 PM. This event doesn’t have an extra admission charge but will have apple cider available for sale for $2. There will also be a visit from Santa on Thursday, December 22, 2022, from 4 to 6 PM.
Victorian Christmas at Fort Verde State Historic Park – Tombstone Park isn’t the only place where you can celebrate Victorian Christmas. The Victorian Christmas at Fort Verde Park runs from December 3, 2022, to January 7, 2023.
Free Debt Relief Consultations for Arizona Individuals and Families
If you’re on the precipice of bankruptcy, you’ll need to be careful with spending during the holidays. Excessive holiday spending could result in some of your debts not being discharged, your assets being seized, or worse. An Arizona bankruptcy attorney can make sure you avoid these types of pitfalls and get the most out of your bankruptcy filing. If bankruptcy is a suitable solution to your debt issues, we will provide you with a competitive quote for our legal representation. We offer qualified clients payment plans starting as low as ZERO DOLLARS DOWN. Your post-filing payments can even help increase your credit score after bankruptcy discharge. To learn more about Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorneys, as well as the bankruptcy process in general, contact us for your free consultation or call us at 480-448-9800.
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