Best Ways to Manage Your Holiday Expenses
Despite holiday spending pressure, consumers can still enjoy the season’s festivities and manage to avoid a lump of debt through these following spending tips:
- Make a gift list. Make an extensive list of all family members, friends, teachers, and more that you need to purchase gifts for so you can accurately define your budget, then set a specific amount you want to spend for each category of recipients.
- Track your spending. Return to your gift list and budget after each purchase to track your spending and make sure you’re staying within your financial limits.
- Pick a payment. Plan the way you’ll pay; cash or credit. If cash, start setting aside savings for your spending now. If credit, make a repayment plan to avoid carrying unnecessary debt into next year. If you need a new source of funds for the holidays, consider a seasonal job or suspending certain luxuries for a couple of months.
- Do it yourself. Get creative and make your gifts. From pictures of the kids to holiday treats, candles and crafts, there are a lot of easy DIY options.
- Shop the deals. Pay close attention to sales ads and take advantage of big sale days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sign up for email lists of your favorite retailers, so you receive notifications of exclusive discounts.
- Share hosting responsibilities. If you’re hosting a holiday get together with family or friends, consider asking guests to each bring a dish and if sharing gifts, consider drawing names instead of buying for all.
- Look for travel deals. Book your travel early and use online tools such as Expedia or Kayak to comparison shop. Try carrying on your luggage to avoid excessive fees and avoid peak travel dates where possible.
- Start saving earlier next year. In January, open a specialized savings account at your credit union. This will let you easily set aside money each pay period throughout the year, so you’ll be ready to shop more efficiently next season. To find a credit union near you, visit www.YourMoneyFurther.com