Smart Holiday Spending

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I have to ask: are you prepared? I mean, financially. Are you a ‘wing it’ type of person who spends whatever you spend and then sort it all out in the new year? Or are you more of the budget type, who buys until the budget is up? Well, I have some tips to keep your spending smart as we head into the holidays.

  1. Plan ahead. If you know how much you usually spend throughout the holidays, start saving early. You can set aside money every month to your “holiday fund” and it’ll have less impact on your bank account. Planning ahead will help you avoid paying for items with a credit card.

  2. Make a budget. I know it’s hard to stick to, but try and figure out how much money you realistically can afford to spend on the holidays. Your budget should include gifts, food, travelling costs (transportation, accommodations, etc). Don’t forget wrapping paper, cards, and tape (do NOT forget the tape) too.

  3. Watch for sales. If you already know what you want to buy, watch for these items to go on sale. But, be careful, a sale is only a deal if it’s something you actually need. If it’s just a sale and you don’t need it, you’re only spending money.

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4. Shop online. If you can avoid going into stores, you’re less likely to impulse buy (especially those chocolate bars at the checkouts). Have your list ready and only shop for the things you need. Avoid the lines, avoid the traffic, and avoid the sales on things you didn’t need anyways. You can also shop around a bit to find the best deal too.

The holiday season can be stressful enough without going into debt over it. Follow these tips to avoid overspending and ending the year with your accounts in the green. Your bank account will thank you!