7 Holiday shopping tips that won’t let your budget bust

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By: Phil Bradford
on 22nd Dec,2016

Holiday season is stressful both emotionally as well as financially. Check out 7 tips to plan your budget for the holidays to prevent holiday budget bust.
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Holiday season is stressful both emotionally as well as financially. So, how do you brace for the budget-busting season without actually going broke?

Tips to plan your budget for the holidays

1 Shop early for lucrative deals

If you know you’ll be spending a quite an amount during the holidays, then why not cut back on your daily costs wherever you can and save some extra dollars?

You may go through this year's Christmas deals and turn your shopping for the holidays into a delightful experience.

Stick to the plan to see your savings soar. Complete your shopping while you run errands for your household.

Doing so will save you both time and money as well as prevent you from over-exerting yourself too much while you’re on the shopping trip at the last moment.

2 Be a trendsetter for gifts

Gifting to both children and adults alike in a large extended family can cause financial hiccups. Gift-giving is undoubtedly welcomed by one and all, but every dollar spent towards a gift adds up to your overall expenses.

You can discuss with your family members or members of the household, you’re most likely to share gift with, regarding pleasantries to be exchanged.

Buy gifts that fulfill one of the wishes or interest of your invitees or friends.

Check out if your gift’s recipient will reveal his or her preference and that providing homemade items would be appreciated by him or her just like any other. You may organize a Secret Santa session to exchange gifts with one another.

3 Watchout for the most consumer-friendly cards

If you habitually avoid paying the interest on your credit cards by having your balances paid in full, then you could be the most apt person to take advantage of the credit card rewards

As per your credit card use, you may be lucky enough to attract rewards for shopping with the plastic.

For example, you may give it a trial where there’s a cash back offer on a credit card for best use of credit limit in a quarter at selected merchant stores.

It could be department stores, drug stores, wholesale clubs, and the likes.

4 Monitor your credit closely

The most prominent symbol of your financial stability is your credit score. So, it’s healthy to keep a close watch over your credit rating.

Credit.com provides upto 2 free credit reports against each registered account with its website.

Their credit reports are updated at an interval of 14 days. You can review one of your credit reports and weed out the flaws in them.

You’ll be able to adjust your financial priorities based on your credit report and improve your creditworthiness. For instance, your credit report may indicate that you need to work more towards paying off your loans on time or that you might need to cut back on your outstanding credit card balances.

When done with your credit review, you can create a holiday season plan accordingly. Thus, you can minimize damages done to your credit rating.

5 Get rid of high-interest credit card balances

Make sure you don’t have to pay a dime extra as interest or over limit charges for shopping indiscriminately during the holidays. Stick to your card’s credit limit and pay attention to your credit rating as discussed earlier.

Make an inventory list of all your cards’ outstanding balances and make the repayments, starting with the highest debt first.

Consider using balance transfer that frees up some amount of credit line for you through a rewards credit card. This way you can pay off your higher balances at low interest while you earn brownie points on the new card.

6 Re-gift items for more savings

If you aren’t using a gift, you can surely re-gift that to one of your acquaintances. But make sure they are outside of your immediate circle of family and friends.

To follow this tip, you’ll have to keep a good record of who gave you what.

There’s a lot of homework that you’ll have to do before you regift one of your presents, as the same people may bump into each other at one of the parties that you’re attending.

7 Stay motivated to complete your plan

Don’t get lose heart if you aren’t successful at every step. You can set yourself up for the next next year with a better spending plan as well as resources, and work on your shopping list to bail yourself out of an unnecessary financial disaster.

To start with, you can cut back on your New Year’s expenses.

As you’ve already got an idea about how to reduce your total holiday expenditures, you can now divide that some by 11. Try to save the amount you get as a result.

If needed, you can open a savings account and auto-deduct money into it to save for the holidays.

Don’t forget to put a cap of not more than 1.5% of your annual income as your budget for shopping during the holidays.

Keep this rule in mind to guide yourself in determining how much you should spend on gifts and other items, while your budget remains under strict check.

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