How to save for the upcoming Holiday season
While Jingle Bells and chestnuts roasting on an open fire seems far away, it is never too early to start saving for the upcoming holiday season. There’s no need to wait until the last minute to shop. You can save now by being organized and accountable to your holiday season budget. You do not need to open another credit card in order to have a rocking holiday season.
- Set a Holiday Budget
The truest way to save money is to pick a budget and without a doubt, stick to it. It is desirable to give every child, grand-parent, cousin, niece and nephew on your list a spectacular array of gifts. The truth is, you do not need to be responsible for everyone else’s happiness.
Some goals for setting and slashing your budget include looking at what you spent last year. Aim to spend half of that budget. You can also investigate who you spent money on and decide if you want to keep those same traditions going. It is ok to delete people from your list if you simply can’t afford a present for them or even if you just don’t want to.
- Open a Savings Account
If you don’t have a separate savings account setup for your holiday spending, now is the time. You should always separate your savings accounts so they each have an exact purpose. It also helps to label the account name so it is a constant reminder as to what you are saving for.
A great way to get money going directly into your savings account is to automate it. Most banks allow for automation of direct deposits into multiple accounts. Check with your bank on their options and set yourself up for savings success this holiday season.
- Choose to Earn Extra Cash
If you don’t have adequate cash flow, you can always commit yourself to a temporary part-time job. I know, that sounds like zero fun, but it can keep you from diving head first into unruly seasonal debt.
The best part about part-time jobs these is that they are plentiful and many give you insane flexibility. I am talking about room shares, rideshares, freelance work, food delivery and the like. You work it out on your schedule, without a boss and without feeling bad if you need to quit or leave. Boost your income with these super easy, part-time jobs.
- Give Up Something
You might find that sticking to your holiday budget is best done by giving up something during the holiday season that you can live without. Perhaps you have a monthly recurring fee you can live without, like your Netflix subscription, your manicures, fancy coffee drinks or whatever other luxury you can spare for a few months will help your budget. Remember, it is just temporary and you go back to fancy nails in January.
- Find All the Deals
HOW you spend your money during the holiday season will also affect your budget. You should always aim for the sales, discounts, and the rebates. Here are a few methods to accomplish this:
- Cash back apps: download apps like Ebates that give you cash back for the purchases you were already going to make. You can make money while you shop!
- Discounted gift cards: Use the app Raise and you can snag gift cards to your favorite stores at a discounted rate.
- Buy in bulk: if you happen to be buying for a large quantity of people, then try buying an item in bulk. This works great if you have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership. You might also find deals on gift card purchases made in bulk.
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday: right now you should be making list of presents and keep an eye on prices. Black Friday and Cyber Monday tend to be days of huge deals, but that is not always the case. Keep track now to see if the deal on those days is a real steal or not.
Buying presents for the holidays can be both fun and stressful. Aim this year to set and stick to a budget. Be sure you are paying in cash or from an account dedicated to your holiday expenses. The last thing you need this year is another credit card bill. No matter how well they try to convince you, do not open a new credit account just for the sake of presents. If you do not have the money, you simply do not have it.