The holidays have their own nostalgia. Many people are in a festive mood and prepared to spend the time off with family and friends. More than likely, holiday tradition is no longer enjoying grandma's classic fruitcake, but rather, playing your favorite holiday mood music on Alexa (voice-enabled technology). After Thanksgiving, it's time to start shopping and last minute gifts can cause impulse spending. As much as you would like to stay on budget, your spending can get out of control and leave you financially strapped for months. The following blog discusses financial strategies to keep you on budget and save money during the holidays. Let’s enjoy the holidays this year!
Last Year I Overspent! How Can I Stay On Budget and Save Money During the Holidays?
Get Ready For The Holidays And Stay On Budget
Do you realistically have a budget? If your financial restraints aren't written down, try assessing your finances and deciding on a budget a month before the holidays start. Make financial preparations according to what you've decided you can spend, and not a cent over (you can do it). Your list should include what you expect to spend on family, friends, food, decorations and gifts. Have a budget prepared that you can actually use to set your spending limits.
Get a head start...
One of the best ways to save money during the holidays is simply to start saving early. There's no time like the present, to budget for next year's holiday. In fact, planning early for next year, may give you more money to spend. Your budget should include all of the advice mentioned above. Balancing your budget should be easier with a significant head start.
Start A Savings Account
"A penny saved is a penny earned!" Money might be tight, but a savings account set aside exclusively for the holidays can be a good way to stay on budget. Set aside a few dollars or a portion of each paycheck in a separate account for the holidays. Try setting up your account a few months before the holidays, but you'll began to reap the benefits of a savings account over time. The more you put in your savings account, the easier it is on your budget.
Resist The Urge To Please Everyone
As much as you want to give everyone on your list the best of everything, it may not be possible if you want to stay on budget. The kids may want the latest handheld device or you may feel obligated to give your boss an over-the-top gift, but it should not be at the expense of setting you off course with your budget. With the current economy, many people will be grateful that you thought of them with a heartfelt trinket.
Plan For Your Holiday Vacation
If you're going to visit your family for the holidays this year, plan your trip according to a budget. Decide where you're going, how much it's going to cost (i.e. gas, plane ticket, food), and where you're going to stay (lodging). A budget can help you enjoy an extended vacation and have enough money to come bearing gifts for the ones you love.
Teach Your Kids To Understand How Budgeting Works
Parents should talk to your children about how important it is to save money and stay on budget for the holidays. You can start with a savings account for their holiday spending or give them a specific amount of cash to use to purchase their holiday gifts without going over. This means setting a budget of X for the kids and sticking to it.
You can enjoy the holidays and stay on budget with proper planning and preparation. A budget can help you have peace of mind and look forward to the upcoming holidays.