First, I want to wish everyone a wonderful, stress-free, holiday season. May this holiday season bring you more joy and peace than any other.
The holidays are a time to get together with friends and family and celebrate. It can also be a stressful period when it comes to personal finances. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it may not be the most wonderful time for your bank account. Holiday retail sales are slated to increase 7% this year, and one in three people say they plan to spend more this year than in years prior.
Below are a few tips to keep your holiday spending plan wonderful and on track.
You Need A Spending Plan
First, decide on a spending plan for your holiday expenses, including gifts and gift-related items, and stick to it. Also, include non-gift items in your spending plan, like entertainment and travel. If possible, use last year’s spending as a guide to create your spending plan for this year.
Make a list and Keep It With You
For holiday gifts, make a list and set spending limits for each person. A list will keep you on task and help you not get caught up in the pageantry of the season. Make sure to keep your list with you as you are shopping during the holiday season. Keeping your list on your cell phone is a great way to take your list with you whenever you are holiday shopping.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the emotions of the season and buy more than you planned. A list can help go a long way in keeping your spending in check and preventing a large after-the-holiday bill.
Be Aware of Credit Card Spending
Credit cards can make it easy to overspend. A large portion of a credit card company’s profits is generated by holiday spending and overspending.
A great method for holiday spending is the envelope system. Basically, in the envelope system, you develop a spending plan and then distribute your cash into different envelopes with the names of your gift recipients or spending categories on the envelopes. When the envelope is empty, it’s empty, and no more spending for that person or category.
Shop around, whether online or in-person because prices can vary drastically and allow yourself time to compare prices and offers before Christmas comes. Think of personalized or homemade gifts that people will use and cherish. Keep in mind that it is the thought that counts and be creative with your gift-giving. If shopping online, certain browser extensions like Honey, Rakuten, and Capital One Shopping will do the work for you.
The holidays should be a time of celebrating with family and friends, but too often the season is overshadowed by financial stress. With advanced preparation and setting realistic spending plan goals, the holiday season can be a cheerful time.
We wish the readers of the GoldenRule$ blog a happy, joyous, and peaceful stress-free holiday season and a prosperous New Year!