Holiday Spending ... Or Holiday Saving?
It's been a while, and for that I apologize! I have a lot of content soon on its way however, so get ready! ;)
Here we are, in October - halfway through October, actually. Holy cow, this year has been the longest year ever but at the same time I can't believe how quickly we're approaching the holiday season! NOW is the time to prepare, if you haven't already. Let's make these holidays memorable and awesome without breaking the budget! It really just takes planning.
How do you organize your holiday spending? Does it go on the credit card? According to a poll done last year, 61% of Americans with credit card debt are willing to go deeper into debt for the holidays. Eeek! With everything that has happened around the world since then, I wonder how much that number will have changed for this year. My hope is that it's down.
If you're looking to be more purposeful about your holiday spending this year, read on for some ways you can do so.
START SAVING EARLY
Like I said, if you haven't started saving yet, start NOW. I usually start setting aside a small portion of each of my paychecks starting in July - August. By the time holiday shopping needs to get done, I've got the money already there and ready to go.
BUY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Sometimes the sales just come at the wrong time, right? If you are willing to skip a few meals out or a salon visit or something else, you can keep an eye on sales all throughout the year and buy as you see them. Each of my family members has a wish list on my Amazon account. I have those items on a watch list and can purchase when the prices get low. This does require me being willing to set aside a little bit of money each month. There are months when I don't buy anything so I just allow that money to roll over to the next month in case I find a deal later.
DETERMINE A BUDGET - AND STICK TO IT!
We've all heard it before...we all know it. Do you set a budget? When you set a budget, do you STICK to it? Determine ahead of time what you can afford and DO NOT go over that number. I've got 5 family birthdays in December, and so I set two separate budgets - one for family birthdays and one for Christmas. Once I've hit my budget limit, I'm done...PERIOD. The ONLY exception I'll make is if I manage to earn a little extra money from a side hustle and have something specific in mind to buy.
Also, please, please. For your own sanity and sake, write your budget down. Don't keep it in your head. The holidays are crazy enough.
MAKE YOUR LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE
Determine who it is you need to buy for. Don't forget some of the less obvious ones. Some people like to gift their mailman. Others like to bring neighborhood cheer with goodies. Co-workers, church leaders, service workers...if you want to give to them to well then first of all, good for you! :) Second, don't forget to include them in your list so you're not surprised financially. Don't forget stamps for cards if you do that!
SHOPPING ONLINE? GET PAID CASH BACK
There are quite a few different sites that you can shop "through" in order to earn some cash back. I mean, don't go shopping just for the cash back, but if you're shopping anyway...might as well earn a little back, right? Ebates / Rakuten is a pretty well known one. Swagbucks is another site similar. You can also install the Honey extension on your computer as well and when you head to different website it'll pop up on your screen if it finds codes or cash back options.
Comment below and let me know how you budget for your holidays. Let's start 2021 off on the right financial foot!