How to Spend Smartly This Holiday Season
It's the most wonderful time of the year. You get together with family and friends for the holidays, and get the chance to exchange gifts with loved ones. However without proper planning, the holiday season may not be very wonderful for your bank account.
Thankfully, there is still time to get a handle on your holiday spending. In this blog, we'll go over a few tips to help make sure everyone in your life has the perfect gift while making sure your bank account is happy too.
Budget Ahead of Time and Have a Plan
Just as you make a budget for monthly expenses, you'll want to have a plan for your holiday spending this season. Make a list of who you are buying for, and how much you want to spend on them. If you find yourself over budget, revisit this list and see where you may be able to cut costs by reducing the amount you may spend on certain people.
You could even make something homemade for some of the people on your list. Remember, it's the thought that counts.
Use Cash when out Shopping
Leave the plastic at home! An easy way to make sure you are not overspending when on a shopping trip is to take out cash to pay with. If you limit yourself to only the cash in your wallet that you already determined from your budget, you'll build in a safeguard for overspending. You can't spend what you don't have, literally.
Know Your Credit Limit if You do Use a Credit Card
Some credit card perks, like cash back or reward points on purchases, are too good to pass up when you're spending more during the holiday season.
If you do plan on using your credit card for holiday shopping, maintain the same good credit habits you already have in place. Always pay your bill when payment is due. Make sure you have the cash on-had to pay back your bill in full. Schedule reminders for micropayments, or immediately pay off purchases to make sure you keep your line of credit open.
Limit Your Own Extra Spending
We all like to indulge ourselves in that fancy holiday drink, or nice meal out. All of that adds up. A seasonal coffee drink could cost $4-5 per drink, and if you order that 3-4 times a week that could be up to $80 a month spent on coffee. Depending on how much you want to spend on gifts, that extra cash could go a long way towards staying on budget during the holidays.
Be on the Lookout for Deals
It may seem obvious, but shopping around and comparing prices can help you save money this holiday season. Black Friday deals start earlier and earlier every year. For example, many stores have "Black Friday Preview Sales" throughout the entire month of November. Keep an eye out for deals, and which stores will price match if you happen to see a price lower than what you paid for.
Give the Ultimate Gift, a Visa Gift Card
If gift giving is not your strong suit, leave the choice up to the recipient with a Visa Gift Card from Consumers Credit Union. They can be used anywhere Visa Debit Cards are accepted, and are available in amounts from $10 to $1,000, making them perfect for anyone on your Nice List.