Strategies for Managing Your Budget Over the Holidays...and After!
The holidays often become stressful - especially when you consider the impact on your wallet. Below are some tips for taking the strain out of holiday gift-giving with general budget concepts that you can use year-round. If you need help getting your finances under control, our firm exclusively helps clients find lasting debt resolution. Call us today at 866-261-8282 for a free evaluation! 3 Holiday Budget Tips: ? Make a List and Check it TwiceStudies show that people who shop with a pre-planned list spend less money than people who make spontaneous purchases at the store. Without a plan, you are much more likely to make impulse purchases and/or spend more money than you intended.
- Develop a concise shopping list based on what you can afford.
- Sales - Do you Really Save? Certainly there is nothing wrong with sales, however retailers often structure sale items to cause you to spend more - such as buy 2 get one free. If you were not planning to buy 2 and it costs more than one, than this is not a good thing for your budget! Do research in advance for bigger ticket items, look for online coupons and ask the retailer about price matching.
- Give Creatively - Here are some ideas:
- Draw names in your family so that each person is only spending money on one gift.
- Gifts don't have to cost a lot of money to be a meaningful. Offering a coupon for your time (i.e. babysitting) does not cost money, but can still be a thoughtful gift.
Stick to Your Guns: Don't Overextend Yourself. Even if upgrading a gift looks tempting, remember your budget and consider if you have the available money before you make a purchase. Nothing is worse than the snowball effect of runaway gift-giving when you get your credit card statement in January. Paying cash for your holiday shopping is also a good way to keep you accountable. ? Plan ahead for Next Year! Add a "holiday fund" line item to your monthly budget. Wouldn't it be great to not create debt next year, but instead pay cash? Consider buying gifts well in advance to take advantage of discounts throughout the year and avoid the busy shopping season. Apply these concepts to your everyday finances:
- Plan your purchases in advance;
- Live within your means;
- Make a detailed and balanced budget that includes lines items for life's planned events as well as an emergency fund for those unplanned events.
Better planned finances means less stress and guesswork in your budget. Set a new year's resolution to reduce or eliminate your debt. If you need our help, we are only a phone call away at 866-261-8282. We can help you obtain a fresh start through debt elimination or consolidate your debt to reduce and likely eliminate a portion of your debt to create a balance budget. We offer free consultations and have evening and weekend appointments available for your convenience.