Regardless of how much dollars you make every month and what you’re shopping for this holiday season, it's crucial for you to stick to a holiday budget. It would prevent you from going overboard with your expenses. Or else, you may get in a lot more over your head.
You may abide by the rules set in here to help you with your financial planning for this Christmas:
Rule #1: You must slash your expenses
If you’re so bothered about how you’re going to manage your gift, travel and food costs during the Christmas season, then you must be able to cut corners on other trivial areas of your life. You can strike off unnecessary items from your holiday list. It could be outside meals, theater visits, and other impulsive shopping sprees.
Rule #2: Create a holiday budget
It should answer your holiday shopping requirements without burning a hole in your pocket. You could be tempted to whip out the plastic at the slightest provocation. But don’t overspend and stick to your budget. You should meditate and reinforce in yourself that you’ll be a smart buyer this Christmas holiday season.
Rule #3: Set up notifications from sellers
During the holidays, especially the Christmas season, retailers provide huge discounts on their stocks or put them up for sale. To take maximum advantage of their sale tactics, you can sign up for their Emails. You may create a separate Email account for shopping purpose only. When you receive newsletters from your preferred retailers in a separate account, you’d be less tempted to make any kind of impulsive purchases.
Rule #4: Earn before you spend
If you want to spend a lavish Christmas, you must pull up your socks and be willing to get your hands dirtier. Taking up a seasonal gig outside of your regular 9 to 5 job would boost your purchase power and create a financial cushion to save your day during the festivities. For instance, you may work part time at retail stores as their regular staffs get overwhelmed with the high footfalls due to the holiday rush. You may even offer to babysit for a single, working mother. You could also find some temporary lucrative gigs at a rideshare company, shovel up sidewalks, or pet sit for people going on a long vacation overseas.
Rule #5: Keep a tab on your credit score
You may for unknown reasons, surpass your credit limit during your Christmas shopping extravaganza. But before you do that, why not have a look at your credit score? A thorough analysis of your credit rating would prod you to avoid the damage you’d otherwise cause due to your holiday shopping binge. Once you know where you fare as far as your credit score is concerned, it’d become easier for you to choose homemade and frugal items over the expensive ones. If you stay within your budget, you’ll prevent choking your finances with heaps of unpaid bills.
Rule #6: Honor frugal expectations
If you’re low on cash this year, then there’s no point in discussing with your family members about granting each one of them with the latest gadget in town. Instead, honor only those expectations that you can afford. Convey your resolution to all the members of your family and ask them to cut down on their holiday shopping list to suit your budget. You could do away with gifting adult members of your family or consider exchanging gifts with one another.
Rules #7: Maximize on rewards
Don’t let your cash rewards go idle. Make them work the most for you. If there’s a sizeable amount of cash rewards in your credit cards, then Christmas would be one of the most suitable times to take advantage of them. Any windfall at this moment will be an added bonus to relieve the pain of cash crunch. It’ll help you to spend more without running the risk of breaking your bank or disrupting your budget.
Make sure you’re aware about the cost of holiday debt you’d incur. Though there are several advantageous reasons to wield the plastic at your retailer’s store, yet you should use it cautiously as credit card debt can dangerously go beyond your control. It can worsen your financial problems if you don’t have the sufficient funds to pay off your outstanding bills in full.