We’ve all seen those Black Friday crowds stomp into retail stores. A nationwide tradition, holiday shopping is a way to show our loved ones our appreciation. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend 4.1% more on holiday shopping this year compared to 2017. These seven, money-saving tips will go a long way to help your budget for the holidays.
1. “Do I want it or do I need it?”
Whenever you’re tempted to swipe the credit card on a guilty pleasure during this time of year, ask yourself, “Do I want it or do I need it?” Plain and simple; try to be as objective as possible with your reasoning. Smart budgeting for the holidays starts by taking a look at purchases like those gorgeous heels or that decked out Rolex.
2. Pick a good bank
Why is picking a good bank important? Because it’s a smart way to manage your hard-earned money, especially going into the holiday season. Look for banks that offer no overdraft fees, no ATM fees, and savings accounts with a high-interest rate.
3. Opt for using cash over credit cards
For those wanting to really keep track of every penny, paying with cash that is already budgeted can save you from overspending. In an effort to make sure you only spend what you budget, leaving your credit cards at home can be tricky, yet rewarding for your wallet.
4. Start early and give yourself enough time
Start early and shop for a few items at a time instead of waiting to buy all your holiday presents at once. Nobody likes the shock of checking their bank statements and seeing a big hit to their account. Plus, procrastinating on holiday shopping can stress you out, and leave you with fewer options to choose from. Those size 6½, limited-edition, red boots you saw in October might not be available in December.
5. Stick to a Budget
You need to have an idea of the following three points to set a smart and realistic holiday budget. The first is how many people you’ll need to buy gifts for. The second is how much you are willing to spend per person. And third, what’s your total gift budget? Just as an FYI, budgeting for the holidays isn’t just for buying presents, but also for all your other holiday dinner and travel expenses.
6. Get creative when giving gifts
Take a minute to think back to last year’s holidays. All the toys you bought for the kids, where are they right now? Lying around the house collecting dust, or sold at a yard sale? It’s heart-warming to see kids happily opening their toys on Christmas Day, but they’ll most likely forget about those toys over time. Here’s one alternative to buying endless toys: try to give them “experiences.” For instance, if you live near a popular amusement park, you could buy tickets to take them later in the year.
7. Do a secret Santa
Organizing a holiday gift exchange like secret Santa is entertaining and good for your wallet. According to Woman’s Day, when it comes to budgeting for the holidays, you can save money for Christmas by throwing everyone’s names in a hat, and having each person pick one name from the bunch. Each person is then responsible for buying a present for the name that was selected. This way, one person does not have to buy presents for everyone, and the game ensures that no one is left out of receiving a present. Bonus tip: make sure each person writes down some options on what they’d like to get, to reduce stress when buying a present.
Budgeting for the holidays isn’t rocket science. These seven, money-saving tips will help curb your spending and shift your saving habits. From picking a good bank to using cash to giving “experiences” instead of gifts, you’ll enjoy the holiday season with peace of mind.
Infinity Insurance understands the importance of having peace of mind. For protecting your home and your car, Infinity has your back. Call an Infinity agent at 1-800-INFINITY or get an online quote today.