It’s that time of year again. Time to start mapping out your spending for the two months where people usually overspend on dinners and shopping.
The holidays are a special time of year for sharing good cheer, great food and generous gifts with the ones we love. Before you head to the mall or plan that extravagant holiday party, consider how you could save some money this holiday season.
Here are 5 ways to keep your spending in check from now through December:
1. Create a holiday budget or spending plan
When it comes to the word “budget” many people often think of complicated spreadsheets and restrictions but no, no, no - a budget will help you plan your spending and ensure there no surprises at the end of the year. No matter how big or small your holiday spending budget, ensure it is realistic. Shop around to find the best prices for the things you want to buy.
2. Make a list
Shopping for the ones you love can lead to overspending. All of the sales will exciting and tempting. Trust me I know. To help avoid going over budget make a shopping list. On your list include the individuals you plan to shop for and a budget for each person. This will also help you narrow down the gifts options. You can actually get very granular and add the actual gift to the list so there isn’t room for overspending.
3. Start early
Many holiday deals begins after Veterans’ Day. This year in the US Veteran’s day will be observed on November 11th. Don’t miss out on savings by waiting until the last minute to do your shopping. Starting early will help you stick to your shopping list and allow you to shop around for the best deal and not pick up what is left since you started late.
4. Unused gift cards
Check in your wallet to see if you have either unused gift cards or some with small balances. You would be surprised how this can help you fund a gift(s). Example: small balances on several Starbucks gift cards may be enough to get a gift from Starbucks for a boss or coworker.
5. Unconventional gifts
Instead of going to the malls, maybe print a photo of you and your best friend, get a frame and a blank card (you can get both of these at Dollar Tree) and handwrite a heartfelt message.
Maybe a wall or desk calendar with pictures of the family for each month for a family member you don’t see often, along with a blank card with a heartfelt message.
Making your money stretch during the holidays comes down to preparation. If you set your budget, make a plan and start early you can avoid excessive spending and bring in the New Year stress free when it comes to your money.
For more helpful tips on making your money better for you, and a free set of budget envelopes, Sign up for the It’$ My Money™ Newsletter.
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