3 Ways to Save Money During the Holidays

  1. Start by Building A Budget for Holiday Spending

This is one of the most important tips we can give you. During the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of things, and start overspending – from Christmas meals, to decorations, gifts, donations, and more.

We get it. It’s not very fun or festive to sit down in front of a spreadsheet and determine how much you can spend on gifts for family, decorations, and other holiday essentials. But doing so is a really good idea.

If you build a budget for holiday spending, you’ll be able to track each purchase you make, and ensure that you don’t spend more money than you have. Although using credit cards or cash advances for your holiday spending is a viable option, you’ll save a bit more money by not overspending in the first place.

 

  1. Look Out for Sales – But Don’t Buy Something Just Because It’s A “Great Deal”

 Holiday sales can be the perfect opportunity to save big on essentials and gifts for the entire family – from clothing, to electronics and gadgets, home goods and more. This is particularly true if you do a lot of shopping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

But don’t get taken in by a great deal. Make sure that you only buy items that you need, or that you know that your gift recipients will want. You don’t want to buy something you don’t need just because it’s a good deal – if you think about it, that’s just a waste of money!

So yes, you should use blowout sales to your advantage. But beware of overspending and buying items you don’t need – this is a trap that’s blown the budget of many holiday shoppers!

 

  1. Make Your List, Check It Twice, And Know When to Stop

This is somewhat related to the above point. Early in the shopping season, you should be making a list of the gifts that you’re going to give to your loved ones – and once this list has been completed, do your best not to stray from it. Sure, you can adjust here and there – but if you built your list based on your budget, you don’t want to change much. This also lets you take your time when shopping and look for the best deals.

You also need to know when to stop shopping. Don’t just head to Amazon or go to the shopping mall to “see what they have”. If you’ve got everything on your list, you’re done. Don’t shop any more.

Follow These Shopping and Budgeting Tips to Save During the Holidays!

With the proper approach to shopping and budgeting, you can make sure that you get all of the gifts and other items that you need – without breaking the bank! Take another look now and think about how you can use these tips while shopping this holiday season.

5 Reasons Your Budget Plan Doesn’t Work

If you find yourself frustrated that your budget isn’t working – or you can’t seem to stick to the plan no matter how hard you try, you aren’t alone. Here are five problems that affect your budget success:

  1. Over-analyzing

You always have a budget plan in mind, but you never start because everything has to be ‘perfect’ for it to work. Even when most of your financial systems are stable, there are one or two things you feel aren’t quite there yet. So you keep postponing until a later day.

What you can do about it: Understand that nothing is wrong with you for being a perfectionist (you can talk to a therapist if you think it could be affecting your life). You’re probably afraid that one thing could mess the whole thing up. Instead, start with one or two financial categories you know you can manage.

In time, you can add one plan after another. After all, better a slightly flawed budget than none at all.

  1. Over-complicating

You could complicate the entire budget idea – or you could genuinely find it a little problematic. You started off well but got lost somewhere after a few days or weeks. Other individuals say it’s too much work and give up before reaping the benefits.

What you can do about it: Budgeting isn’t as complicated as many people assume. Be patient and start off small. Have a notebook or an app to keep track of the realistic and straightforward changes and solutions you make to your finances. You’ll get the hang of it and move on to major expenses.

  1. Unplanned Finances

On most occasions, we only tend to factor in what is right in front of us. Daily expenses? Check. Weekly shopping? Check. Gas, Tuition Fees, and the occasional treats? Check. Unfortunately, you hadn’t planned for the random car repair, a trip to the doctor, having guests over or even contacting that family law office over irreconcilable marriage differences.

Here’s what you can do: Assuming you already have your weekly, monthly, and annual budget, include a ‘miscellaneous’ expenses plan. When you’re in the clear from any necessary expenses that week or month, even better, you’re still saving. Keep including it in your plan; you never know when you may need it.

  1. Generosity

You’re great at maintaining, sticking to, or adjusting your budget to fit your expenses. Unfortunately, all of it goes out the window when your family and friends are involved. You go out of your way to spoil your nieces and nephews, help your parents or siblings out with their expenses, and buy the gifts for your friends or spouse.

What you can do: Nothing’s wrong with being generous. However, these are expenses as well. Include them in your budget!

  1. Small Purchases

On a good day, you’re lucky to find impressive discounts in a store on your way home. Streaming movies and buying some apps are small expenses that you can handle. Making the purchases regularly, though, will add up to significant costs.

Here’s a solution: It’s easy buying when you use your credit card for such transactions. Track these small expenditures for a week or a month, and you’ll be surprised at the total. Next time, take a minute to consider whether you need the app before you buy it.