Holiday Spending without Breaking the Bank
When the holiday season rolls around, it is time to make plans with friends and family to get together and celebrate. Part of that celebration entails spending some of your hard-earned money on meaningful gifts for those you love. However, for many people the holidays become a stressful period where paychecks are stretched to the max and the credit card sometimes accrues debt. Want to enjoy a holiday where you do not break the bank? Here are a few tips to help!
Shop with a Budget
The best way to curtail your spending during the holiday season is to go into the shopping period with a budget in mind first. Attempting to find the best present for everyone on your list is a sure-fire way of ending up with a wallet that feels the pain of that spending. Develop a budget for each person and stick to it. Remember that it is the thought that counts when gift giving!
Make a List
Focus, or a lack thereof, is another major source of financial hurt during the holidays. Try to figure out what all the meaningful people in your life might enjoy for the holidays, and then write it down on a list. When you go into your shopping with a list of what people want or are likely to enjoy, you will be more successful in avoiding those frivolous purchases that miss the mark.
Bank of America has lots of helpful holiday spending tips, and one of the big ones includes using your smartphone to comparison shop. Gone are the days of collecting circulars to compare ads and check prices on the web before you head out to the mall. You have the web in your pocket everywhere you go, so use it to your advantage. Take your smartphone out when you are shopping around, and make sure that the price one retailer is telling you is a deal, is really a deal to begin with. You can even use your smartphone to hunt for deals and coupons on the go to find the best price possible.
Don't Skip DIY
Remember that it is the thought that counts. Most of the people on your list will just be pleased that you remembered them on such an important day, and there is no discounting the value of a homemade gift. It does not take much thought to battle others in the retail aisles for the latest-and-greatest toy. A DIY gift from the heart though sends a warm and loving message. If you want to save a little money this holiday season, mix in some DIY gifts with store-bought options.
Embrace the Value of Gift Exchanges
The CBC notes that you can setup gift exchanges to find the right gifts for everyone in your friend group. This way everyone gets something special, but no one is left buying a ton of gifts for all the other individuals. Using a gift exchange with friends or co-workers can also free up more money to use for individual gift giving among your family members.
Just remember that the holidays are about spending time with those you love and cherish. Gifts are great, but the joy of the holidays should never be coupled with the stress of finding the "perfect" gift and the agony of financial hardship in the weeks and months to come. Here at Hughes Warren we wish you a happy holiday!