Download the NECU app on iTunes. Dismiss

Budget-Worthy Holiday Traditions

The holidays are often filled with family, friends, and festivities, but they can also be expensive and make sticking to a budget a real challenge. We have two words that can keep spending down while turning up the volume on the fun. Create traditions! Here are some tips on activities your family can look forward to doing every year, that are practically free.

1. Light it up. Most communities have a night where they formally light the town tree or the area’s seasonal decorations. Sometimes there’s even caroling or other activities. You can make this your family’s kick-off to the holiday season. And speaking of lights, take a ride or walk around your area to see homes that are decked out in decorations. We’re talking fun that doesn’t cost a penny.

2. Holiday Baking. Who doesn’t love to get out the flour and cookie sheets and get messy in the kitchen (especially when you get to eat your mistakes). The difference between buying and making cookies is money in the bank. Get some inexpensive boxes or tins and your holiday baked goods can become delicious presents. Not only that, it creates family bonding.

3. Ready, Set, Decorate. Have a holiday movie week, where everyone gets to watch their favorites. String (or just eat!) popcorn for the tree. Make eggnog or hot cocoa and you’ve got yourself a tradition that will endure.

4. Giving Back. Talk to your children about those who are less fortunate, and how particularly difficult that can be during the holiday season. Then present some ways you can all help as a family, like volunteering at a homeless shelter or spending time at a senior community. This not only gets your kids into the habit of giving back, but it also helps them to learn about being grateful for what they have.

Bottom Line You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun during the holidays. Creating traditions can bring your family closer and make your holiday season a richer experience.