money·2 min read

The Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Spending

Procrastinator Guide to Holidays
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Dec 12, 2019

The Story

Remember vowing to finish your homework right after school Friday, only to pull an all-nighter on Sunday? Putting off your holiday to-do list is like that. Except it can cost you some serious dough. 

But rushing is a holiday tradition. 

You’re not wrong. More than half of holiday shoppers buy presents up until the Saturday before Christmas. These tips can help you save at the register:

  • Zero in on who’s left. Set a per-person budget, then hit the stores with cash in hand so you can’t overspend. Psst...the 1.5% rule can help. 

  • Ask about free gift wrapping. Because wrapping ‘em yourself will take longer. And cost more.  

  • Check which stores have extended holiday hours...or offer free in-store pickup so you don’t have to elbow your way through crowded aisles. Time is money when you’ve got this little left. 

Related: Holiday Gifting Without Spending (Too Much) Money

What if I still need to book travel?

  • Narrow your search. Flights are typically cheapest on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

  • Recoup some of your expenses. Renting out your space to fellow travelers can balance the scales. 

And if I’m not ready for my hosting duties?

  • Pare back the menu. A casual finger food feast can be just as filling and fun as a formal, sit-down dinner. 

  • Level-set with your guests. And actually assign them something to bring when they ask. That way, you can limit your focus and really nail your signature charcuterie board. 

  • DIY decorate with your wrapping leftovers. Patterned paper makes great tray liners, ornaments, and wall decorations when you’re down to the wire.  


The holidays aren’t exactly a low-key (or low-cost) time of year. Leaving everything to the last minute doesn’t help. Getting disciplined, cashing in on freebies, and looking for deals in all the right places can. 

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