Tips for Sticking to a Holiday Budget Once the Shopping Begins
Did you know that a whopping 77% of people blow their holiday budget?
With the average amount spent on Christmas gifts hovering right around $700, even going over budget by 10% is significant.
You don’t have to overspend though. There are plenty of tips and tricks that you can use to set a budget and stick to it. Keep reading to learn how to make 2018 the year that you stick to your budget!
Tricks to Avoid Blowing Your Holiday Budget
First things first. You need to actually set a holiday budget in order to stick to one. Make a list of everyone you need to purchase a gift for. From your family members to your doorman or mail carrier, don’t leave anyone out.
Once you know who you need to buy for, determine a spending amount for each. Once everyone has an amount, add them up to see if you can afford that amount. If it’s too high, re-adjust those amounts. You don’t want to be in debt after the holidays, so be realistic about what you can afford.
Once you have your budget set in stone, it’s time to start shopping.
Track every single penny you spend on your gifts. There are plenty of apps out there that can track your spending or just keep a running total on a piece of paper. Either way, you’ll need to know how much you’ve spent on each person and how much of your budget is left.
If you budget a certain amount for a person but find that perfect gift for them on sale, it’s a good idea to stop spending there.
If you budget $50 for something they want but get it for $35, don’t spend $15 just to spend it. Leave it unaccounted for and it can give you a little wiggle room if you budget $50 for someone but find the perfect gift for $60.
Stick to Cash Only
Using cash is a great way to track your expenses. When you are handing over cash, you’re actually seeing the money leave your hand.
Swiping your credit or debit card just doesn’t have the same effect. It’s easier to overspend when using a card too, since you might not see a tally of your expenditures until you receive your monthly statement.
Shopping online makes it impossible to shop with cash, but if you’re diligent to use only your debit card or make an immediate payment on your credit card when you purchase something, buying online can save you money.
Before you hit purchase, make sure you search for any coupon codes online. Nine times out of ten, you can find some coupon code to use and get a percentage off or free shipping. There are also lots of sites out there that pull together all of the sweet deals out there.
Seek Out the Sales and Use Coupons
If you can handle the chaos of Black Friday, you can get some great deals, especially on toys and electronics. If the thought of venturing to a store on Black Friday makes you shudder, Cyber Monday is full of good deals too!
Shop around and compare prices so you can get the best deal out there and remember that some stores will price match. Don’t be afraid to use coupons either. Make it a game to see how low you can get the price or how many discount codes you can stack online.
Start Saving Early
While this doesn’t necessarily help you stick to your budget, if you start saving early, you won’t be as stressed during the holidays trying to figure out where the money is going to come from.
Set an automatic transfer to a holiday savings account every time you get paid and sit back and watch your holiday account grown. When the shopping season rolls around, you’ll be all set and can shop without going into debt!
Let the Shopping Begin!
With the holidays quickly approaching, now is the time to set yourself up financially for a stress-free holiday. Make that budget and use these tips to stick to it.
For more deals and price comparisons, check out our blog.