A blog about making the most of the holiday season by being financially prepared.
While the holiday season should be a time of excitement and fun, for many it can turn into a source of contention. Anxiety surrounding holiday spending can put a real damper on your holiday festivities. So if you want to help your family be financially prepared this holiday season then start small and start early. These five easy tips will help you to start saving for the holidays right now, so you don’t puke when you open your credit card bill in January!
- Start thinking about a realistic budget WITHOUT using credit so it doesn’t follow you into the next year: Once you have some ideas of the gifts and activities you want to do this holiday season, start putting a simple budget around each item. It’s easy to get carried away, so do it before the emotions of the holiday season kick in, and you can make better financial decisions.
- Get your lists early: Asking your family for their Christmas lists early can help you to get a head start. Find out what people want now, so you have time to shop around for the best price. You can even buy these items early when you find them on sale, or you can at least more easily space out your spending. Knowing what you’re buying in advance will help you to budget, and get a better snapshot of what you need to prepare for. Also, don’t get swept up in thinking you have to get everything someone else wants or puts on their list (especially children). Share those ideas with grandparents or others who want to get them a gift as well.
- Shop during the pre-holiday sales: Stores are always having great sales around this time of year. Don’t wait until the madness of Black Friday or Cyber Monday hits to get a good deal. Shop the early sales now and get a great deal instead!
- Buy a gift or two each paycheck: To take the burden off of your December paychecks, start buying a gift or two each week or every paycheck, starting now. This way you can spread out your spending, and you won’t have to charge it and pay it off later.
- Start making holiday gift idea lists now: A little planning goes a long way. Instead of running around like a mad person in December buying anything you can get your hands on, start making your list now so you can plan and prepare. When we wait until the eleventh hour to shop for gifts, our budget can go entirely out the window because we have no idea what to shop for.
- Start thinking about a realistic budget: Once you have some ideas of the gifts and activities you want to do this holiday season, start putting a simple budget around each item. It’s easy to get carried away, so do it before the emotions of the holiday season kick in, and you can make better financial decisions.
Holiday shopping and spending doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little preparation, you can enjoy what the holiday season is really all about.
Still feeling overwhelmed about your holiday budget? Check out my Planning For Peace This Holiday Season e-book.