01 Dec Preparing Your Finances for the Holidays
As fun and delightful as the holidays are, they can break the bank if you aren’t careful. From splurging on yourself to making a gift list for all of your friends and relatives, the receipt is usually a lengthy one. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way! It’s possible to continue your usual holiday traditions while still being mindful of your spending, and we’re here to help. Below is a list of the little things you can do to ensure that you’re financially planning for one of the busiest times of the year.
Use a Shopping List
Walking into a store during the holiday season can be an adventure in itself. Everywhere you turn there is something shiny or sweet ready to catch your eye. It can be tempting to not toss it into your cart just because you think you need it. Consider bringing a shopping list with you any time you enter a store. If it’s not on the list, keep it moving!
If you find that making a shopping list isn’t working for you, consider using the Internet. Many companies offer better deals with reduced shipping during the holidays. Save yourself the trouble and the money by checking gifts off of your list from the comfort of your own home.
While it may seem like spending the most money on a gift is equivalent to giving the best gift, this usually isn’t the case. Even holiday cards themselves can be outrageous. Handmade gifts are thoughtful, personal, and show that you spend time and effort putting them together. Whether it’s something they can snack on or hang on their walls forever, it will make for a holiday to remember and save you a few extra bucks. It’s a win/win.
Evaluate Your Own Budget
When all is said and done, limiting what you’re spending on others is great, but it means nothing when you aren’t setting a budget for yourself. Everyone loves a Peppermint Mocha once in a while, but be sure to calculate how much you’re splurging on these little indulgences throughout the months leading up to and after the holidays. A $5 coffee is a $5 coffee until you need to buy one last stocking stuffer.
Holding yourself accountable and financially planning for the holidays is difficult, and habits aren’t easy to break when you’ve become accustomed to doing them each year. That being said, it’s the little changes will add up. Whether you decide to begin online shopping or you choose to handwrite all of your cards this December, you’ll be taking a step in the right direction. Your wallet will thank you later!