It's almost that time of year again: Christmas. A time for snow, hot cocoa, and giving thanks with family and friends. With this holiday season approaching, you may start to feel the pressure of having to save money as well as spend it. You have presents to buy, a Christmas tree to trim, and decorations to deck your halls with boughs of holly, which can make a pretty big dent in your wallet. You don’t have to empty your pockets this December - here are some easy ways to include Christmas into your holiday budget!
First, start a journal where you can keep track of your financials for the holiday. Write down your monthly income. Try to figure out how many times you will be getting paid before Christmas day. This will let you know what money you have coming in, in order to incorporate that within your budget. Pick a day to sit down and write it all down.
After writing down your income, you have to next figure out how much money you have to set aside for bills and expenses. Be sure to also keep track of the days that your bills are to be paid, to avoid being late. When you include the money that you are putting out, you will be able to see how much money you have available until your next paycheck.
Creating a journal for your finances will show you where your money is going. If you know that around the last week of the month your bills are due, try to limit your spending the week before. This allows a cushion for you to be sure that you have the money to pay your bills, without bringing yourself down to your last dollar.
When using a credit or debit card, it's not hard to overspend. Swiping the card can mean tapping into money that we should probably be saving. We all dread the moment when it's time to check your bank account to see what the damage is. If you have felt this anxiety and stress before checking your account, you may have a problem with overspending, but the solution to this problem is quite simple. When you receive your paycheck, designate an amount to place directly into your savings account. This will prevent you from touching money that you need for both bills, and shopping for the holidays.
Keeping cash in your wallet can actually prevent overspending, altogether. By having a visual of how much money you have, you will be less likely to want to spend it. Many people find that saving is easier with the money directly in their hands. It is easier to spend money that you cannot physically see, like a credit card.
One of the easiest ways to save and budget money for the holidays is to look for sales. There is, however, a slight downside to utilizing sales. It is very easy to overbuy when seeing sale prices and promos, such as “buy one, get one half price.” If you only need one, only get one. Stick to what you originally wanted to purchase, before you see the promotion. Before making your purchase, do a quick google search for online coupons and available sales.
If these tips are just not enough for you to save for the holiday, you may want to consider taking out a loan. For example, payday loans provide you with quick cash to give you more options and less restriction when making your holiday purchases this year.