Creating a Holiday Budget that Works
The holidays are already a stressful time without having to worry about finances. Studies have shown that the average family will spend more than $800 on gifts this holiday season. It also shows that 37% of people will use their credit cards to pay for their holiday shopping. So how do you avoid that, while still celebrating, and paying back your debts?
1. Set a Holiday Budget
Saving for the holidays is always a good idea. Before you can start your shopping, you’ll need to create a budget to find out how much you’ll need. Just keep in mind that the holidays aren’t all gifts, it’s also food, parties, decorations and outings with family and friends.
If you build a budget ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to find yourself in a hole. In this situation, you also have to remember to keep up with your lender’s payments. Call and see if you can set up a payment schedule for the holidays. Usually, they’ll understand or at least work with you so that way you both win.
2. Create A Holiday Account
To start a holiday account, you must first have your budget set. Start by adding up everything you expect to spend based on that budget and count the number of weeks you have to shop.
Try splitting your budget amount into easy weekly, or even in some cases bi-weekly, deposits and start saving. You can take a chunk out of each paycheque and add it into the holiday account until you’ve accomplished your budget goal. The earlier you start, the easier and less stressful this will be.
3. Set Up Meetings
There are some banks which will allow you to postpone your payments until after the holidays. Now this sounds like a very enticing deal, but you need to make an appointment and sit down with someone at the bank. Usually, with installment loans, your creditor will just add the payment to the end of the loan period, but you’ll still have the pay the interest.
If you have a history of making reliable payments, meaning they’ve been on time and consistent, then they may allow you to skip this one. But, if you have a tendency to forget your payments then your request may be denied. If they feel as though you’re a possible risk, they won’t take the chance.
Enjoy Your Holidays While Saving
When it comes to the holidays, you shouldn’t let the fact that you owe money discourage you from celebrating with your family. There are many different ways to make sure you don’t overspend but still treat your family, friends and yourself. The holidays are a time for peace and spending time with the people you love. Don’t let the worry of payments ruin that.