Getting ready for the holidays can be a stressful time. Purchasing presents, making food, and traveling to see friends and family can end up being very expensive and keeping to a tight budget can be difficult. Holiday expenses and spending can interfere with a financial plan that you’re trying to stick to. So how do you incorporate holiday spending into your financial plan?
Use these tips to keep your budget in place even while you holiday shop for everyone on your list!
The Best Holiday Budget Tips
The following tips are aimed at reducing your spending on holiday gifts. If you know that you’re a big shopper, setting some expectations before you go out to the stores can make a big difference, and end up helping you save substantially.
Make a Budget
As you enter the holiday season, it’s a great idea to see how your holiday budget will fit into your financial plans. It’s best if you can afford to pay cash and cover the budget you’ve set. If you need to take out a loan, you should budget so that you can pay off the loan within 3 months. In this case, an installment loan could be more appropriate.
Regularly Compare Prices
To keep your holiday expenses as low as possible, compare competitive products across stores to see which offers the best deal. While at the store, you can always use your phone to do a quick search to see if any online retailers offer competitive prices. Amazon is generally a good place to search for items that you can then compare with at the brick and mortar store.
Avoid Impulse Purchases
Impulse buys can make a big dent in your budget. If you’re in the store and you’re considering paying for a $2,500 TV, it may be good to do a little extra research and see if other better options exist. Even taking an extra day to think about the purchase allows you to take a step back and see if the decision is rational or not.
Keep Your Receipts
Keeping receipts until the holiday season is over is a safe way to make sure you can return an item if the product you buy has a defect or if the person you buy it for already has the item. This may not seem like a big deal, but it could end up saving you a lot on holiday expenses.
Buy Presents Early or Late
It’s a good idea to check for deals to see if a product is on sale for a certain amount of time. Some merchants will have deals before or after the holiday season to sell a certain item more quickly. This is one of the holiday budget tips that will not only save you money but could also save you the hassle of shopping. If you know in advance of the holiday season which items you’ll want to buy, it may make sense to buy them early. In fact, special one-day promotions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday often offer similar deals as on regular holiday sales.
Purchase Last Year’s Electronics
Electronic products with high price tags are a sure way to spend a great deal of money. For many people who don’t need the latest features, getting last year’s model may be a wise decision. The price for a TV or phone drops so much during the year that you could end up saving hundreds of dollars. Electronics tend to be the highest holiday expenses, so a little extra planning goes a long way.
Get Creative With Your Own Gifts
Homemade gifts are a perfect way to save money. While this may not be great for everyone, most people will appreciate a memorable present handmade by you. If you’re good at crafts, this is one of the best holiday budget tips.
Save Up For Expensive Items
One important budget tip to remember is that you don’t necessarily need to pay for holiday items during the holiday. If you know you have a pricey gift or event coming up, it’s a good idea to save up before making that purchase. Doing so will prevent you from having a lump sum of payments that all need attention at one time, which might force you to use credit.
Reuse and Sell-Off
By saving your holiday decorations, you can re-use them and save on your holiday expenses. Often, stores will have huge discounts on holiday decorations following the holiday, which is a great time to buy for the following year. If you have unwanted or unused decorations, gifts, or even gift cards, you can sell them off for some extra holiday spending cash.
These tips will keep you on track with your budgeting, saving, and investment plans so that you don’t have to rely on short-term loans. Short-term loans are great when you run into unexpected bills, but may not be a great option for other forms of spending like holiday expenses. Please consult a financial advisor for questions about your financial security and planning.
Holiday Expense Help
Cash Factory USA provides payday loans and Installment loans so that you can get back to your financial planning needs. If you run into some holiday expenses that exceed your budget, you can apply for a loan today and pay back the loan on the next paycheck.*
*Short-term loans are not intended to be long-term financial solutions. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling. A single payday advance is typically for two to four weeks. However, borrowers often use these loans over a period of months, which can be expensive.