Today is October 15th. That means there are 70 days left until Christmas (fewer for those of you who celebrate Hanukkah). Of course, most of us are just worried about Halloween right now, but it isn’t too early to start getting your finances in order for the holiday shopping frenzy.
It is so easy to overspend and even rack up debt to celebrate the holiday season. Of course, there is no reason to do if you plan ahead and are ready when you begin your holiday shopping. Below are five tips you can follow to help make sure your budget stays in check, while still celebrating with your family and friends.
Create a budget. The simplest way not to over spend is to create a budget and stick to it. You can look at what you spent last year as a guide for this year. Don’t forget the wrapping paper, holiday cards and other items you will need.
Make your list and check it twice. This isn’t a list of what you want, but rather, everyone to whom you will give a gift. This will go along with your budget so that you can make sure you account for all of the spending you will need to do.
Put the credit cards on ice. If you are tempted to overspend, freeze your credit cards during the holiday season. That way, you will have to pay for everything with cash. You can thaw it out come January and then smile as you do not see those bills coming through your mailbox!
Don’t exchange as many gifts. As an adult, for me the holiday is about being with my family and seeing the smiles on my kids’ faces. Luckily, my husband’s family agrees. We actually stopped exchanging gifts with the adults. It really helped as that was 3 less we needed to purchase, which has helped save us more than $50 – $75 each holiday season. None of us miss opening a present and would rather visit and catch up instead anyhow.
Wait for the sales. There will be a LOT of great deals and sales coming up in November. In fact, some of the best deals will be found on-line on the Wednesday and Thursday leading up to Black Friday. Try to set aside some time to check out the deals so you can find the item you want at the price you can afford. We will be helping you on the site so that you can find some of the best deals out there!
What tips do you have to add to this list?