Holiday Budgeting Tips to Help You Save Without Being a Scrooge
As the holidays approach, it can be easy to get caught up in the giving spirit and spend more than we planned on the perfect gifts for loved ones. Holiday budgeting can sound stingy and Scroogish, but there are ways to save money during the holidays without sacrificing family fun and beloved traditions. Check out these holiday budgeting tips that can help you create a magical experience within your means. And remember that holiday budgeting for a household should include money for food, decorations, wrapping paper and shipping as well as gifts.
Budget holiday spending
When creating a budget for your holiday spending, it’s important to prioritize recipients and spending levels. Determine how much you can afford to spend on immediate family members, then consider gift-giving through Secret Santa or White Elephant parties. These holiday parties are fun, and their affordable spending limits on gifts will save you some cash that you could instead put toward decorations or holiday meals.
Set up a checking account to help you budget your holiday spending
Many debt counselors suggest paying in cash to avoid going over budget. Better yet – use a separate checking account to help budget for your holiday spending. Throughout the year, deposit a small amount of each paycheck so you have money set aside when the holiday season arrives. You may even want to consider an interest-bearing checking account to help you earn more. Then, you can withdraw cash or use your debit card when shopping. Don’t forget to track your purchases so you aren’t tempted to go over spending limits.
Compare prices before you shop
One of the best holiday budgeting tips is to comparison shop before you hit the stores. Look through catalogues, note when sales will occur, clip coupons and compare prices online. Start comparison shopping as early as September so you can take advantage of early October sales or start saving for big ticket items. The most important thing is to stick to your budget when you shop! If you know what you want to spend and where you will find that price, you’ll be less likely to go over budget.
Consider the benefits of layaway
Layaway lets you reserve items at the store and make payments until they are paid in full. Many shoppers choose this option because there’s no risk of debt. If you default on payments, you may pay a cancellation fee, and you won’t have the item, but you won’t have debt either. Before putting anything on layaway, read the layaway agreement from the store to make sure you understand the rules as well as service and cancellation fees.
Making memories while holiday budgeting
It’s fun to give gifts during the holidays, but it’s important to remember that’s not all the season is about. If you find your budget a bit tight this year, consider putting less money towards gifts and more towards family traditions. Whether you’re out cutting down your own tree or staying in to make Christmas cookies and drink hot cocoa, the important thing is to spend time with the ones you love during the holidays.