The holiday season can be an expensive time, but there are some simple tips you can follow to help you set a budget and stick to it.
SET A SPENDING LIMIT
When setting your spending limit, it’s important to consider how much extra money you have in your budget. It can be helpful to determine an amount you can set aside each week just for holiday purchases.
OPEN A HOLIDAY SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Once you’ve figured out how much money you can afford to put away for the holidays, it’s a great idea to open a savings account just for that purpose. This way, you can easily keep track of how much you’ve saved and you’ll even earn a little interest on your savings. Once a member at HHCU, you can open a holiday savings account for free, so your money is there for you when you’re ready to start shopping.
MAKE A LIST
Write down all the people you want to shop for, and come up with one or two ideas for a reasonably priced gift for each person. This will help you make sure you don’t forget anyone and keep your spending on target.
SHOP THE SALES
Once you have your spending limit and shopping list all set, it’s time to start watching the sales. It’s a good idea to keep your eyes open throughout the holiday season, not just on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Often, there are great sale prices offered by many stores as early as October. Columbus Day (October 12th) and Veterans Day (November 11th) are popular holidays for big sales.
SET UP A TRACKING SYSTEM
Whether you prefer a handwritten system or an online spreadsheet, find a way that works for you to keep track of what you’ve purchased and how much you’ve spent. This is the best way to make sure you don’t spend more than you plan to.
START SHOPPING EARLY
Shopping online is more popular than ever, making it easy to get started early and compare prices between retailers. Shipping could take longer than usual this year, so be sure to factor in more than enough time for your purchases to be shipped to you and then to their recipients.
CONSIDER HOMEMADE GIFTS
For certain people on your list, homemade gifts can be great options that are both sentimental and inexpensive. Grandparents love to receive updated photos of their grandchildren in a decorated picture frame, and homemade cookies or brownies can make an excellent gift for a neighbor or even your mail carrier.
These tips will help you make sure that you can buy the perfect present for everyone on your list — without breaking the bank!