No matter how well you have prepared yourself with handling the finances successfully throughout the year it can always seem to go out of whack around the holidays where money seems to be flying out the window. Between family get together’s for Thanksgiving and possibly multiple Christmas gatherings depending on the size and division of your family, it can get costly very quickly, and that’s not even taking in account gifts. If you are careful you avoid blowing money over the holidays and save where you can.
Create a Budget
Like most, including myself, if you don’t know how much you can spend, you might just keep spending. Unless you actually set a limit for yourself, or even take out cash where you can only spend that much is where you can cutoff the spending spree and stay within a budget. While it’s always a good idea to have a budget for your normal household finances, you should be factoring a little extra around the holidays, but in addition to that, setting a limit on how much you are spending around the holidays as well. Every little bit helps.
Start Buying Gifts Early On
The earlier you start shopping the less of a burden it will feel at once when it comes time to open up the wallet around the holidays. While you may way to spread out spending across multiple paychecks for the remainder of the year, so it’s a little bit each time, the earlier you start the better. Also don’t forget to take advantage of Thanksgiving sales as well, and I say Thanksgiving because it seems to be earlier and earlier when the stores open each year, so whether it’s actually Black Friday or the actual day of Thanksgiving, if you haven’t started Christmas shopping yet that might be a good time to start.
While shopping in retail it can take time to go from store to store across time trying to save a buck, when it’s all said and done you wonder was it even worth your time spending all day to try and save money, after all, time is money. With online shopping and virtually endless amounts of sites available at your fingertips, you can compare prices in a matter of seconds, flipping from site to site, being able to finally make the purchase probably in minutes, compared to hours shopping in person.
Spend with Rewards Credit Card
Using a credit card for all purchases is smart when you have a rewards card where you can earn points, miles, or dollars back by making purchases. Especially when it comes to your necessary finances that you would have made anyways, why not earn free money. Same goes for shopping around the holidays. If you are going shopping anyways and spending money, why not put it on a credit card where you can earn money back by making the purchases anyways. Just be sure that you are able to pay back the full balance by the statement due date, otherwise paying interest dips into your savings you made.