10 Tips to Avoid Breaking the Bank This Holiday Season
The holiday season: Awesome for the family, tough on the finances! But it doesn’t have to be that way. Luckily, Ol’ Saint Nick sent us these ten tips to saving money during one of the most expensive times of the year:
- Plan Gifts Ahead of Time
If you’re like me, you might be at Target on December 24th frantically searching through anything still in stock for that last minute Christmas present you forgot about. Although there’s no shame in being a procrastinator, doing a little research beforehand can help you find great deals on products that can be cheaper now than any other time of year. Sometimes items in the stores can be priced cheaper online too!
- Sign up for email lists
Which stores do you plan on shopping at this year? Visit their website and if they have an email list, sign up! Stores often send the best deals to their exclusive subscribers, so being “in the circle” can pay off big time. If you don’t like spam on your email, you can always create a separate email account just for that type of mail!
- Get Your Flu Shot
We know… You’ve probably already been told twenty something times to “get your flu shot so you don’t get sick!” While nothing is fun about having the flu, the bill you get from the doctor after it’s over can be one of the worst parts. Get it as soon as possible, because the flu shot takes about two weeks to actually become effective!
- Black Friday… If you’re brave.
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that taking advantage of the deals on Black Friday is one of the best ways to save money during the holidays. However, if you can’t make it out of the house because you’re still recovering from that Thanksgiving food coma, busy spending time with family, or just don’t want to get trampled by hordes of crazed shoppers, you can find equally great deals from the comfort of your own home on the internet. Speaking of the internet, Cyber Monday has some great deals too!
- If possible – plan one shopping trip that knocks out all your gifts
This might sound like a headache of a shopping trip, but knocking out all your gifts at once helps you keep track of how much you’re spending on others. Set a budget for how much you’re willing to spend on gifts this year and take a three hour trip to the shopping mall. Not only can it save you money, it also takes away the stress of knowing you still have to buy gifts!
- Stick to Gift Budget
Spending money on others is awesome, but buying a small but meaningful gift can often mean just as much to someone as a large, expensive gift would! This link contains a place to a template for a budget, as well as examples and articles to learn some of the best ways to budget. (Full link: https://creditadvisors.org/financial-education/budgeting-services/)
- Having people over for dinner? Make it a potluck!
The first question on many people’s minds when they’re invited to Thanksgiving dinner is “What can I bring?” Don’t be afraid to have an answer, it makes it easier for everyone!
- Cook Dinners from scratch!
Speaking of holiday dinners, are you typically one of those people that buys side dishes premade? Those are delicious, but cooking dinner from scratch is an awesome way to have tasty food without breaking the budget. Thinking about going out for Christmas Eve dinner? Try having the family cook a meal together instead.
- Pay for things with cash
Studies show that on average, people spend more money when paying with cards than with cash. One example: at McDonalds, people spend 12-18% more when using credit cards instead of cash (NerdWallet). The psychology of that comes from the fact that for many people, it just seems less painful swiping a plastic card than handing over hard-earned paper money. Paying with cash can also help you set a budget for gifts, take out how much you want to spend on gifts and don’t use any other cash or credit cards.
One great way to make the holidays awesome is to serve others. Although it may not sound like a normal way to spend Christmas Eve, serving dinner at the soup kitchen is surefire to leave you feeling empowered and fulfilled about this years holidays.
Call Credit Advisors and we will give you honest advice and guidance to start your personalized action plan. Our consultation is free and there are no obligations when you call.
Call and ask about your personalized plan at 1.800.942.9027
For on-line assistance: www.creditadvisors.org
Don’t forget that you can check your DMP progress at any time in the CLIENT PORTAL.
Log in with the link below to update your balances, check your payment history and see account statuses.