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10 Ways To Do The Holidays Without Breaking The Bank

Start off 2015 with more than just a pile of cookies to your name. Use this list of tips from USAA to become a smarter saver for now or in the future.

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1. Make a list. / Via

Do not go blindly out into the cold, dark shopping mall. Make a list of everything you need based on where you need to get it, and yeah, check it twice.

2. While you’re at it, take that list to the next level.


Add up how much you’ll probably be spending and when you need to mail things out in order to make it in time.

3. Divide and conquer... your budget.

BuzzFeed / Tyler Naugle

Keep in mind you’ve got two paychecks to work with before Christmas. Buy some stuff on Dec. 1 and some stuff on Dec. 15 so you don’t go for bust on either one.

4. Buy gifts in sets.


Many things come in sets; things you wouldn’t expect (who needs five differently colored watches, for instance?). Well, you do. Buy in packs, and separate them to knock out several gifts in one go.

Note: A "set" of kittens might not not be the way to go.

5. Gift something sweet.

Especially if you want to show some love to a larger group of people, like co-workers or a family, why not bake or cook up something and show how much you really care? Bonus points if it’s a treasured family recipe.

6. Shop online if you’re trying to find a deal on something (or many things).

BuzzFeed / Tyler Naugle

You’ll save time and energy, and more importantly, you won’t have to fight for your life against the crowds who are all looking for the same thing.

7. Ship it without *actually* shipping it.


Secretly, most retailers offer “bill-to, ship-to” options, which will bill you for the cost of the item, while the retailer takes care of the rest — aka you don’t have to deal with the post office during the most chaotic time of year.

8. Get your New Year's crew picked out early...

Much like shopping early for holiday gifts is always the right call, if you get a group of friends signed on to the NYE festivities early on, you can get package deals on events and book a cheaper car service.

9. you can go big for New Year's without going bankrupt.

It’s tempting to get out on the town or go to the most exclusive thing you can find, but chances are you’ll have more fun (and save money) spending it with friends at someone’s house. Or, if you do venture out, go for a place that offers a package deal (like food and drinks till midnight) so you don’t have to worry about paying for individual food and drinks.

10. Most importantly, pay attention.

BuzzFeed / Josh Fjelstad

It truly is "the thought that counts." Regardless of price, people will always appreciate someone they know has been listening to them — so keep your ears pricked. Chances are, whomever you're close with will offhandedly mention a thing or two they've been eyeing, and you can be the one to swoop in and get it for them.

USAA is here to help, no matter what kind of holiday you have planned this year.