Holiday budgeting does not have to be stressful. Check out these simple tips that can help you save money and manage your finances this season.
We’re officially in the holiday shopping season. Holidays allow us to escape from the hustle and bustle of life and spend quality time doing what we love with the people we love. Time off from work is crucial for good mental health and helps deal with mental exhaustion and burnout. Given the importance holidays hold in our lives, people want to make sure they can make the most of them.
Now more than ever, Americans will be seeking out retailers with the best possible gift deals and looking for ways to save extra money, from making a holiday meal to booking travel. During the holidays, it can be easy to let spending get out of control. With careful thought, you can celebrate and be generous — without guilt. Be sure to factor in additional non-gift related expenses that can easily add up—things like holiday photos, decorations, food, and if your family gathering gets canceled, shipping of gifts to loved ones. With all the gift buying, traveling and party planning you may be doing, it’s important to revisit your monthly budget to ensure you have a financial plan in place to cover these extra expenses. This holiday season put a cap on your spending by creating a holiday budget/spending plan. Below are a few tips for making conscious spending decisions this holiday season:
- Plan Ahead and Budget– Take the stress out of holiday spending, whether you shop in-person or online, by planning ahead. One of the most important steps in preparing for holiday spending is creating a budget. When you have a set amount in mind before heading into the holidays, you can be more likely to steer clear of unnecessary expenses and can give yourself a clear framework to prioritize what you need to buy. This budget can also include travel expenses, food and drink costs, and purchases needed for events or gatherings.
- Utilize a Holiday Savings Account– Set aside money year-round for the holiday season, many financial institutions offer holiday savings accounts. These allow you to routinely deposit money into the account. Many of these accounts can only be accessed after a set date, which can help you avoid dipping into them for other purposes. You can check with your bank or credit union to see if they offer holiday accounts.
- Invest in a Wholesale Store Membership – If you’re hosting several parties at your home and plan to attend parties given by others, please your guests and bring goodies. Buying in bulk will cover multiple events. You’ll also find a wide assortment of festive foods at Costco or Sam’s Club. Just be sure not to overbuy.
- DIY (Handmade Gifts)– Homemade presents are great ways to save money while creating something memorable. There’s nothing more meaningful than a gift you made yourself. These gifts might not work for everyone on your list, but they’re good options for some.
While your expenses may commonly increase during the holidays, you may also want to take a closer look at your year-round spending habits and how you can tighten your budget to lessen the financial strain that may spike at the yearend. One way to control spending year-round is by attending Financial Health Trainings. Financial Health Trainings teach strategies for managing your money. You can learn how to create spending goals and plan for future savings. SC Thrives Financial Health Trainings include:
- Financial Health 101
- Credit & Credit Reporting
- Debt & Financial Recovery
A Budget Sheet can also help create a spending plan and make the most of your budget. You can sign up for an upcoming training and download our budget sheet HERE.
You aren’t alone in your financial challenges this holiday season. This time of year can cause financial stress for everyone. By finding creative ways to stick to your budget and sharing tips with friends, family, and coworkers, you are contributing to a happy and healthy holiday season. Cut the stress and take control. SC Thrive’s team is here to help connect to resources you may need year-round. If you want to learn more about the services we offer or apply for a program, contact SC Thrive at 800.726.8774 today!