Some say this is the “most wonderful” time of the year – your bank account might disagree.
Holiday spending can easily get out of hand. How do you keep your spending in check? Do you set a budget and stick to it, shop annual sales such as Black Friday and popup warehouse sales? If you have never put much thought into your holiday spending beyond heading to the nearest mall with a list of items – this list is for you.
Survival Tip 1: Set a Budget
Setting a budget seems like an obvious one. Overspending on gifts for your loved ones is a lot more challenging if you have set a budget for your purchases. You can really cut back on holiday spending and survive annual gift-giving season debt-free if you stick to a budget.
Don’t know what to set? Select a few gift ideas for your recipient. Average the total price of the items and ask yourself if the amount is reasonable. If it is, set it as your budget, if it isn’t reduce the amount. You may have to get creative and find a good deal to get the gift you have in mind, or change your gift idea to suit your budget. Remember – no matter what you give, it’s the thought that really counts.
Survival Tip 2: Complete Holiday Shopping Early
Especially if you’ve set a budget for an item that typically costs more than you’re willing to spend. You will be able to access more deals and sales at both local and online retailers if you give yourself extra time to hunt for a bargain. For items that don’t typically go on sale, you have time to get creative and cash in points cards rewards for gift cards or seek out other potential cost savings ideas.
Survival Tip 3: Search for Warehouse & Annual “popup sales”
Holiday shopping sales pop up every year. Many of these events are advertised in newspapers, online or you can find out about them via word of mouth. Ask around and someone might direct you to a really great annual sale. From toy warehouses to local craft bazaars to Cyber Monday – find the sales and then add your name to the email alert list for next year – so you don’t forget where you got a great deal this season.
Survival Tip 4: Set Reasonable Expectations
Your children may be the hardest ones to set reasonable cost expectations for gifts. Even though you would love to give them everything they’ve asked Santa for, it may not be possible. Set reasonable budgets for yourself that work within your current income reality. Don’t forget to talk to your children or other family members and friends to set budgets as well. Some families even draw names and agree on a budget amount so that each member buys for one adult only and everyone saves.
Survival Tip 5: Leave the Credit Cards at Home
Leave your credit cards behind when you shop. Spend what you can afford by withdrawing cash and paying with cash for your purchases. Debit will work too, but if you really want to see exactly where your holiday spending is going in real time – cash is king.
Survival Tip 6: Don’t Shop Stressed
Malls and parking lots get a little bit crazy this time of year. You can overspend if you rush in and out of busy stores at the last minute. If you don’t get caught up in the rush, you’ll save money by taking your time. Don’t let the stress of the season bully you into overspending out of convenience or frustration.
Are you ready to survive the holidays without adding to your debt? If you’ve got a question about an existing debt problem, how credit cards and interest work and what to do if you’re in trouble – contact us: 1-877-501-4321 or book an appointment online here.
From everyone at Spergel, Happy Holidays and All the Best in 2019!