holiday savings starts with doing it.

While you may not be planning to spend too much this month to create some much-needed holiday savings, did you know the average American ends up paying more than $700 by the end of December? People have a challenging time saying ” No ” when it comes to the jolly gifts or the trimmings on the tree. For proof, 13% of consumers are still paying off what they bought last year!

If this is the most wonderful time of the year, why are 25% of Americans losing sleep over what they “must buy” for everyone else? If you don’t have it, don’t spend it. Without a plan for holiday savings, now is the time to make one to prepare for next year.

As a reminder, we do not need to continue holiday traditions that leave us struggling. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fun and an emotional rush, but count on the regret coming back when the bills come in. That is not what these festive times were designed to create inside people. We’ve already discussed the reality of acute financial stress, namely during the holidays. Isn’t it the time of the year for you to give yourself a gift?

Here are some proven, simple steps to get some holiday savings.

Cutting the Cord

Cutting the cord can help pave the way for holiday savings
Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET

People aren’t watching as much cable or satellite as they used to do in the past. According to Pew Research, 76% of Americans watched cable or satellite in 2015. Today, that number is down to 56%. There are assorted reasons, like the cost is too high and others don’t watch that much TV.

The point is there’s a way to get your fix without paying the price. Consider cutting the cord and researching a streamer that supplies all you need. That will help with holiday savings and give you a gift concurrently.

Pack a Lunch

Source: Getty Images

It’s not pizza, a fancy salad, or a hot burger, but packing your lunch for work will save you more money than you realize. The average cost of dining out for lunch is $11. Since packing your lunch costs half of that, you could keep at least $1,222 next year. That will help you fill someone’s stocking with holiday savings.

Not to mention, but surveys show 92% of meals eating out are loaded with calories. Yes, even the “healthy” options. In 2022, take care of your pocketbook and your health, then watch how much money you have left when the holidays come around next year.

Play the System

Holiday savings could work if you use a cash-back app.
Source: iStockPhoto

Holiday savings are easy to come by if you are disciplined and determined not to allow the Yuletide blues to hit you hardest in the bank account. Cashback apps are fantastic to use once you have the process mastered. With fancy technology comes fancy solutions. You only need to know where to find them.

Check out Ibotta, Shopkick, Rakuten, Drop, or even Groupon. There are numerous options out there for a savvy shopper. Find the one that offers you the most perks and premiums. You can use them to guide your holiday shopping and watch the money stay where it should.

Audit your Apps

An audit of your apps could help increase holiday savings.

There’s a sneaky thing about all those apps you have on your phone—in-app purchases. You may not “subscribe” to everything, but you still may be spending money you shouldn’t rely on those.

For example, do you have a meal kit delivery service? It’s so handy to have your dinner show up in a box that only requires a microwave, but that could be as much as $50 each week. What about purchasing digital books? Try a podcast. Do you have any games on your phone? You can still enjoy them without spending $20 to get extra coins.

Did you know in 2020, global subscription app revenue climbed 34% to $13 billion?! There’s money in the insignificant pocket change you may not realize you’re spending. Consider an app like Truebill or Outflow that helps watch those apps and could increase your holiday savings.

Be Nice and Budget

Setting a holiday budget for holiday savings works.

“Budget” is treated as a dirty word sometimes, but with commitment and focus, this is usually the top tactic for holiday savings. Forget Santa, but if you want to stay on your nice list, a Present Planner is something you need to consider.

This vital list could be as easy as three columns—name, gift, amount. Then, don’t steer off-course. Stick to that budget so you know what you must spend and save. Furthermore, you can track your spending, which will help you not to pay January’s grocery bill on December’s credit cards.