When it comes to the holidays, many people spend more than they can afford. There are a few ways to avoid overspending and best of all, you can use these tips throughout the year, not just during the holidays.
Making a Budget
Whether it’s for the Christmas holiday or you’re planning for a vacation, the first thing to do is make a budget and stick to it. One way to help with this budget is to make your gift list in advance so that you have an idea of what will be needed when it comes time to make your purchases. This helps show you how much expendable cash you will have left over each month that can go to those holiday purchases or any other needs, like a trip, new furniture or a new car.
Start Shopping Early
Whether it’s a Christmas list you need to buy for or it’s a new sofa, you can start shopping now. Obviously, if you’re planning on a major purchase, you may not have the funds to start buying things but you can start looking at upcoming sales or find out when the best time of year it is to shop for this item. For instance, most people know that the first part of the year or the end of a year is the best time to get good deals on an automobile. If it’s your holiday list, you can buy a few things throughout the year up until the holiday itself. Even small things like stocking stuffers add up if you have to do it all at once. Take some of the pressure off by having your gifts bought when you can do so, no matter what time of year it is. According to Forbes, making a plan is imperative to budget successfully and shopping early is the start of a good plan.
Take Advantage of a Savings Plan
Whether you need money for Christmas or simply would like to have a savings plan you can’t simply draw out on a whim, some banks offer a Christmas Club where you contribute a set amount of money each payday into the account. In December, typically the money is put into your checking account so that you have a large amount to spend, depending on how much you saved throughout the year. Not only do most of these accounts draw a small interest rate, and are good moneytips.com, you can’t simply transfer the money without a penalty, which helps many people keep the money away from their pockets throughout the year. According to Bankrate, this is how you protect your money from yourself.
No matter what you have planned for your holiday gift buying or even if you don’t celebrate the holidays, these tips will help you have more money when it comes time that you need it the most. It never hurts to take a proactive approach by planning ahead, and you’ll be in much better financial shape by utilizing these tips than you would if you decide to wait till the last minute.