7 Budgeting Tips for the Holiday Season
The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most expensive. When it comes to shopping for all of your friends, family members, and co-workers, expenses can add up. Fortunately, there are a number of simple steps you can take to avoid spending an arm and a leg in December. Read on for 7 of our favorite budgeting tips for the holiday season.
1. Be Like Santa and Make a List
Before heading to a store or visiting an online retailer, compile a list of everyone you need to shop for. Try to come up with a present for each person and a price range for each gift. When you have a plan in mind for your shopping trip, you are less likely to overspend. Coming up with a list also helps you figure out exactly how much money is in your gift budget.
2. Look for Deals
Smart shopping means searching for the best bargains available. If you decide to buy multiple items from the same online vendor, purchasing everything together can help reduce shipping costs.
3. Don’t Make Impulse Purchases
Make sure that you stick to your list and don’t impulsively add additional items to your shopping cart. If you forget to include someone on your list, simply add them to the list and recalculate your holiday budget so you are still spending about the same as before.
4. Consider Extra Holiday Expenses
Of course, gifts aren’t the only expenses the holiday season brings. When you make your holiday budget, be sure to put aside funds for the following items: wrapping paper, bows, greeting cards, postage for gifts that need to be shipped, food and drink for celebrations, and travel expenses.
5. Look Over Receipts and Bills from Last Year
A quick way to figure out about how much you should be spending this holiday season is to look at your receipts and bills from the previous year. If you don’t have paper copies of these items, you may be able to check your spending habits from last year via your credit card provider’s website or online banking account.
6. Save This Year’s Receipts
Hanging on to this year’s receipts will not only be useful for next year, but it will also help you track your spending right now. Experts recommend totaling your receipts at the end of each day or adding them up two weeks before the holiday. Seeing these totals can provide a much-needed reality check as to how much you can afford to spend.
7. Be Smart with Credit Cards
If you will be using credit for your holiday shopping, only take the cards you will need with you and try to limit those to as few as possible. Remember to check your credit card statements for any unauthorized charges, and make sure that you report any suspicious activity that you may find to your financial institution or credit card issuer as soon as possible.
About Tennessee State Bank
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“Holiday Budget Tips.” American Bankers Association, https://www.aba.com/Consumers/Pages/HolidayBudget.aspx