Some may say it is too early, but this month is a great time to start mapping out 4th quarter spending. This is one of the most expensive quarters of the year, and for many it includes extensive holiday shopping for both dinners and gifts.
Easy Ways to Save for the Holidays
The holidays are a special time of year for sharing good cheer, great food and generous gifts with the ones we love. But before you head over to the nearest shopping mall or plan that extravagant holiday party, consider how you could save some cash this holiday season.
Here are a few ways to keep your spending in order from now through December:
1. Set a holiday spending budget
When it comes to the word “budget” many people often think of complicated spreadsheets and restrictions, but that doesn’t have to be the case. A budget will help you set boundaries on your spending and ensure there no surprises at the end of the year. No matter how big or small your holiday spending budget, make sure it is realistic. Shop around to find the best price for what you are looking for.
2. Plan your shopping-make a list
Shopping for the ones you love may lead to overspending. 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 who really needs a gift and who could receive a special phone call or card instead. You can actually get very granular and add the actual gift to leave no room for overspending.
3. Start early
Many holiday deals start following Veterans’ Day. This year in the US Veteran’s day will be observed on November 12th. 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.
4. Unused gift cards
Check in your wallet to see if you have either unused gift card or several with small balances. These may be a way you can fund a gift. Example: Small balances on several Starbucks gift cards may be enough to get a gift for a coworker.
Remember, 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.
Lastly, a great gift to help encourage young people to be more financially literate, is my book It’$ My Money... A guided journal to help your finances. Click here to purchase your copy.
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