You don’t have to rack up a huge credit card bill or go into debt to cover your holiday expenses. Enjoy a financially stress-free season with these six tips:
1. Create a Detailed List of All Your Expenses
Draw up a list of every holiday expense you anticipate. Include all gifts, décor, travel expenses and donations. Try to keep it as trim as possible by cutting out non-essentials and using stuff you may have in storage from previous years.
2. Determine How Much Money You Can Spend
Work on finding a magic number that will cover everything on your list and that you can realistically afford. Ideally, this money should come from funds you’ve set aside just for this purpose.
3. Divide and Conquer
Next, assign specific amounts of money in your budget for each expense category and for every person on your gift list. Again, make sure your numbers will work from both a financial and practical perspective.
4. Track as You Shop
As you shop, keep careful account of exactly how much money you’ve spent for each person and in each expense category. Review your budget often to make sure you’re staying on track.
To make this job easier, use an app, like Santa’s Bag. It allows you to set a budget for each person on your list and then makes tracking the amount you spend super simple.
5. Shop Smartly
Keep your spending to a minimum with these hacks:
·Use shopping apps or browser extensions,like Honey and Shopular, to get your favorite retailers’ best deals and coupons delivered right to your phone or computer.*
·Shop online on Tuesday morning.Research shows this time of week is when you’ll find the hottest online deals.
·Shop with a friend. Take advantage of BOGO sales by splitting the cost of a single item with a friend and each of you taking one item home.
·Shop late. Prices actually fall in the weeks leading up to Christmas as retailers get ready to clear out their holiday inventory.
6) Let Community Financial Help
Community Financial can help take financial stress out of the holiday season:
1.Special Rate Holiday Loan: If you can’t come up with the funds you need for the holidays, consider a Community Financial Holiday Loan. From now until December 31st, you can apply for a loan up to $3,000 with rates lower than your average Personal Loan!
2.Holiday Savings Account: Spread the cost of the holidays across the year with an account created just for that purpose. You’ll set aside a little bit of money each month, and next year, when the holiday season rolls around, you’ll have all the funds you need.
Your Turn: How do you get through the holidays with your finances intact? Share your best tips with us in the comments.
*Community Financial does not endorse the information, content, presentation or accuracy, nor make any warranty, expressed or implied, regarding the websites and/or apps mentioned above.