The holidays can be a wonderful time of year, but they can also be a time of stress and financial headache. But not to worry! We’ve put together a list of 5 ways to make sure you keep to your budget this holiday season and leave the season with full hearts, not empty pockets.
Decide on Your Budget
This is the hardest part of the process. Without taking money out of the pot that pays your bills and keeps the lights on, you need to determine how much extra cash – if any – you have. If you can forgo little extras like trips to the car wash or manicures at the nail salon, that certainly helps add to your stash. If you’re in need of a little bump in your cash flow to supply your holiday spending budget, consider working an extra shift or two or check out this post from The Penny Hoarder on making money working from home.
Use the 4 Gift Rule
Once your budget is set, the four gift rule can help keep the reins pulled in so you don’t overspend. The four gift rule is especially great when gifting to children as it significantly keeps your financial headaches from spiraling out of control! The gifts are comprised of this:
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
Look Before You Buy
There are so many ways to shop these days! You can shop via a store’s website, purchase in a brick-and-mortar store, buy new or gently used items on social media resale pages or places like eBay, or purchase from the retail giant, Amazon, while taking advantage of their two-day shipping when you’re a Prime member. Whatever way you choose, you should comparison shop before making your purchase. Often times, you can find deals online that you aren’t able to otherwise find, and vice versa for the brick-and-mortar stores. As long as you’re price shopping before making a purchase, you won’t waste time and money by traveling all over town to get what you’re after.
Make A List – And STICK TO IT!
Don’t make a single purchase until you’ve made a list. Write down the items you plan to buy, how much they are, and where you’ll be buying them from (aka where you found each item the cheapest). This ensures you know exactly what you’re spending and getting before you ever shell out the cash. Whatever you do, treat your list as a direct order. Don’t stray from it, and don’t add to it.
Pay With Cash, Not Card
There’s nothing more disheartening than getting through the holidays only to wind up with a whopping credit card bill that includes not only what you budgeted for but added interest as well! Keep your budget in check and on-target by only making holiday purchases with cash or a prepaid debit card.
Follow these steps when shopping this holiday season, and you’ll come into January feeling relieved and financially free from the burdens that typically go hand-in-hand with the holidays. If you need additional assistance with staying on budget for the holidays, give your local South Suburban Currency Exchanges a call today for more details on savvy financial planning!