It’s back! Our annual Holiday Spending Guide with updated classics and some new tips to help with your budget. Celebrating the holiday season, while keeping your finances intact is a tough balancing act. Hopefully, these tips will go a long way to help save you money during this time of year.
Set a Budget
No matter how hard we try, we all tend to over-extend when it comes to spending during the holidays. It’s important to be realistic about your budget. Be mindful of potential pitfalls that could lead you down the road of over-spending such as competing with family members who can afford to spend a lot of money on you. People understand budgeting and spending limitations. Avoid building up credit card debt or dipping into your savings account to purchase gifts. Before the holiday shopping season begins, sit down, set a budget, and stick to it.
Using Cash Back Rewards Card to Your Advantage
You’re going to be spending money this holiday season, might as well make it work for you. Take advantage of a high cash back reward card. For example, if you’re doing a lot of spending on Amazon, consider taking advantage of their credit card. They offer a five percent cash back card on your spending if you have a membership with Amazon Prime. You also have the option to buy now and pay later, to avoid piling up your debt in the immediate, allowing you to pay it off with various financing options.
Starting your shopping early can help ensure that your gifts will be available and delivered on time for the holidays. Starting early also allows you to take your time, find the right gifts, make price comparisons, discover potential bargains, and track spending to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. Also, if you spread out your shopping over a longer period of time, you could prevent the bigger hits from happening all at once to your bank account or credit card.
Crafting homemade gifts and giving them as presents is a personalized touch not many retail purchases can compete with. Additionally, homemade gifts often prove more economical than commercially purchased alternatives, making them an endearing and budget-conscious choice. By investing time and creativity, you create a meaningful gesture that resonates deeply with your loved ones during the holiday season.
We understand that purchasing a gift for each family member may prove to be financially overwhelming, but we’ve got some alternatives for you. Consider doing a gift exchange (White Elephant/Yankee Swap). Not only are they fun and interactive, but everyone leaves with a tangible gift and the intangible gift of a good time. These alternatives also allow you and your guests to only purchase one gift, rather than having to buy gifts for everyone. And there’s always the classic gift giving tradition of Secret Santa, while not as interactive as the gift exchanges, still a tried-and-true method of celebrating the holiday without hurting your wallet.
Time as a Gift
Giving the gift of your time is invaluable, regardless of your reasons. Whether you’re short on cash this year or looking to avoid the chaos of holiday spending, hosting a brunch for your family and friends is a great way to celebrate the holiday and each other. These last four years have come with a multitude of financial and life challenges. We shouldn’t take the little things for granted. There may be no better gift than the gift of time!
Remember What’s Important
Keeping within a budget and having realistic spending goals will make for a much happier holiday season for you and your bank account. It’s also important to not let the stress of the holiday season overshadow the special moments with family and the good times with friends.
These tips may help alleviate that holiday stress. But also remember to take time to enjoy the holidays. This season is about everyone, including yourself. Balancing your finances at this time of year is stressful enough, so don’t let it affect the time you have with your loved ones.