No matter how well you are doing on your finances, keeping up and doing all the right things such as building an emergency fund, reducing expenses, not to mention saving for the future, when it comes to spending during the holidays, it can send your careful spending planning out the window. Between family parties which cost money to either host or bring food and drinks, not to mention Christmas shopping on the family, money can go pretty quickly. All the spending you have done comes to a shocking finish when you receive the credit card statement in the mail, finding yourself wondering how you will pay the balance in time to avoid interest, if you can at all. Every little bit helps when it comes to saving money around the holidays.
Follow a Budget
Like many that have a household budget to manage the monthly finances, there’s probably a spending feature built into your budget. Well if you take it a step further, the same can be said for holiday shopping, make sure you stay within the income that you have available, and not to throw on a credit card where you are unable to pay the full balance by the statement due date, causing interest charges to start to incur until that balance is paid. A budget could help shave off a few dollars on what you are spending.
Buy a Little at a Time
A great way to ease the spending burden a little is to avoid buying everything at once. The earlier you can start shopping the better, at least that way you can take some out of each paycheck to use, so you won’t feel like all of your money is going to the holidays at once. While you don’t need to start throughout the whole year, but as summer starts to wind down it may not be a bad idea to start thinking about the holidays, and depending on your budget, the extra paychecks you are starting in advance could help.
Stick to Expected Plan
As you are now out and about and especially as Christmas comes, doing any last-minute shopping, it can be easy to continue to keep buying gifts and maybe go overboard on the shopping. After all, it is the season of giving and it is fun to get gifts for those family member’s or significant other. While it may be tough, if you can stay disciplined and stick to the plan, you will be better off financially, so you won’t have to go into 2018 in debt, taking months to get out. Your family won’t love you any less by not going overboard.
Take Advantage of Sales
Keeping in the fashion of starting early, the earlier you start the more sales you have to take part in, which is a great time to start Christmas shopping. While it may be fun to procrastinate to the point where you are actually out shopping on Christmas Eve, if you can start early you can take part in sales such as Black Friday (or pretty much on Thanksgiving now) where you can get even better deals. Avoiding paying retail cost and allowing yourself the time to wait for items to go on sale could be huge savings in the end.
Keep a Lookout for Coupons
Sure, newspaper subscriptions may be on the decline, that doesn’t mean that you have to sit down with the Sunday paper in order to find coupons. If you pay attention to the mail you get daily (which can go away as well), besides credit card offers, the second most popular mail you receive would be coupons. In addition to the mail, the store’s website can also offer the most recent deal that you can either print or load to a shopper’s reward cart to take off at the register to incur any additional savings that you can.
If you have an item in mind to purchase, it’s always smart to check prices at multiple places so you can get the best deal you can. That can be tough when it comes to retail, as that means driving all over town, fighting traffic and crowds, which by the end of the day maybe it’s not even worth saving a few bucks to waste your time all day. With online shopping, you can at least spend seconds testing out prices on multiple websites to get the best deal, all from the comfort of your own home, with free shipping no less.