The Holidays are quickly approaching and if you’re like me, just thinking about those extra expenses is giving you stress. Take that stress by the horns and start planning today. This time of year is joyous and fun but also expensive and we are determined to make sure you get to the New Year with cash leftover. Creating a budget, shopping smart, and other small adjustments will help you to end 2019 with a happy bank account.
It is a simple trick that will keep you on track during the holiday season. Creating a holiday budget takes no time and will save you hundreds. The best way to utilize a budget to its fullest extent is to include everything. This can mean the gas expense from getting to and from Holiday parties, grocery supplies for Holiday meals, and adding in a “forgotten” gift budget because there is bound to be one person that gets you a gift that you forgot.
Not sure where to start your budget? Use our “Creating a Budget and Sticking to It” blog post to create your holiday budget. Find it here!
It’s never too early to start saving for the Holidays. A great way to start putting away cash is by grabbing an envelope and saving every one dollar or five dollar bill that you get. Stowing this cash in a place that isn’t your wallet ensures that you won’t spend it beforehand and you will be surprised how quickly this cash adds up! Starting a month in advance could provide you an extra $75 – $100 just in time for the Holidays!
Another method that you could use to automatically save is the “round-up” method. We talked about the Qapital app in a previous blog article, but you can link your bank account and set up automatic rules so it rounds all your purchases to the next dollar and saves the spare change.
Shop Black Friday
It may be crazy, but if you do it right Black Friday will save you hundreds. Before you go shopping, shop the ads in the paper and online to plan ahead to create an efficient strategy. Once you have looked through all the advertisements, make your plan and get your shopping done right! Grab a friend and make an event out of it so the craziness can seem more fun!
If Black Friday sounds a bit too overwhelming for you, take advantage of Cyber Monday deals. Use the same plan to prepare by researching online stores discounts.
Free gift wrap
On average, adults wrap around 15 presents each holiday season. Instead of spending money on your own gift wrap, take advantage of free gift wraps from the stores you’re shopping. Many times bigger stores and department stores offer free gift wrapping during the holidays. This year don’t turn down free gift wrap and save major cash instead of wrapping those 15 gifts yourself.
Check your pantry
Before you drive all the way to the grocery store, make sure you look inside your pantry for items you might already have. A lot of holiday baking involves items you already have in your pantry, so before you buy double give the pantry a check.
Also, make sure that you don’t overspend by creating a menu and a list of all the ingredients that you need before heading to the store. This is a time of year that all stores, grocery stores included, are trying to get consumers to spend more money. Don’t fall into the trap and only get what you need!
Avoid the crowd
Whether it is for clothing or food, shop early and avoid the crowds. When there are crowds you are more likely to rush through your shopping and won’t be making the most economical purchase. Plan time to get all your Holiday shopping done so you don’t overwhelm yourself and feel rushed.