The holidays are right around the corner and for some, that can mean a season of stress and financial hardship, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Use these six tips to get you through the holidays feeling stress-free and confident about your spending.
Be realistic about your budget
Understand that your budget might be different from those around you, and that’s okay. Be realistic, set a limit, and stick to it. Plus, be sure to leave room for things besides your shopping expenses. Planning to buy any new holiday decorations? Hosting a holiday dinner for your family or friends? What about traveling, which may include flights, car rentals, hotels, or other costs? Include all of those things in your budget.
Use Cash Instead of Cards
Pay with Cash versus a credit card. Holiday expenses can add up quickly – and paying with cash makes it much easier to visibly track your expenses, while a card is easy to swipe time after time.
Shop early to hunt for deals.
Don’t wait until the last minute, start shopping now! Take advantage of the big saving days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you can save money by shopping online, go that route. The longer the wait, the harder it will be to find the perfect thing at the right price. Get it now while you can.
Give the gift of your time
A low-budget idea for a gift is to give the gift of your time. If you have friends or family that you haven’t seen in a while, they might appreciate a visit more than anything. Quality time can be much more valuable than a gift, anyways.
Gift Exchange Plan
Consider a secret Santa exchange, where you put names in a hat, with each person drawing one to determine who they buy their gift for. For big families, this can mean big savings!
Start Planning for the 2023 Holidays Now
Start planning for next year’s holidays by saving money now. If you start in January and put a little away each month, by the time you get to the holidays, it is much less stressful to buy the things you need.