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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.