How to stay on budget during the holiday season?

Shutterstock: Orathai Mayoeh

Every year, moms around the world feel the pressure to present their families with an unforgettable holiday season, complete with all the decorations, treats and seasonal fare you could ask for.

However, not every family has the budget to provide all the trappings of a festive holiday. If you want to make sure that your family experiences the brightest holiday season imaginable, but you’re on a budget, then follow these simple steps to make the most out of every dollar you spend this year.

Scour the Internet for Travel Deals
Many families make travel accommodations to visit their extended relatives for the holiday season, but without a plan, your trip can become more expensive than you bargained for.

On top of popular airlines like Southwest and American Airlines hosting their own sales, websites like KAYAK and Travelocity compare prices for flights, hotels and even car rentals so that you can find the most affordable price for your budget.

Travel as a Group
Grandma’s house isn’t always just over the river, and through the woods, most families have to travel hundreds of miles to see their distant relatives.

If you live close to other relatives who are traveling to the same location for the holidays, why not make it a family trip by renting an RV or splitting travel costs by traveling together.

Make sure that each person contributes by assigning them responsibilities built toward their strengths, like assigning one person the job of paying gas money and maintenance fees, while someone else pays tolls or purchases food for the group.

Host a Shared Gathering
Another great way to save money around the holidays is to gather the entire family in one location for a potluck-style party. Everyone can bring a dish from home, or multiple hosts can split the cost of hiring a caterer for your holiday event.

Whether you are renting out a property to host your holiday party or throwing it at your house, you can save money by sharing the responsibility with siblings, cousins, and even parents so that the burden of financing the event doesn’t fall to one person.

Collaborative Gifting Saves Everyone Money
One of the most expensive parts about any holiday around Christmas is feeling obligated to hand out gifts. Instead of feeling like you had to give a cheap gift, why not collaborate with other family members to get one more substantial gift for each recipient rather than multiple smaller ones.

Kids can often feel like the gifts they receive are in competition with other children. By collaborating with multiple family members to get each child one significant gift, nobody will feel as though they couldn’t afford a better present, and the kids won’t feel the pressure of getting the least gifts under the tree.

Save money this holiday season by taking advantage of travel deals if you plan to leave home for a visit with relatives, or get more people involved in sharing the planning of your annual holiday party to spread out the responsibilities.