Holiday Financial Advice: 8 Tips for Saving Your Money This Christmas
The holidays always have that magical ability to boost moods and promote generosity, but sometimes the spirit of giving doesn’t bode well with our wallets.
When buying gifts for loved ones, or donating to charity of the holidays, it can be difficult to curb your spending – especially when you see that sweater that’s perfect for Cheryl, or that newest gadget for Jared.
It may not be the easiest to do, but being financially responsible during the holidays is just as important as it is all year round. Here are 8 tips to help you balance your inner Père Noël, while keeping your budget in line.
1. Set Your Budget
Before you battle your way through the droves of fellow holiday shoppers, make sure you have your budget firmly set. By having a maximum amount set in your mind, you can ensure you don’t go over your budget while shopping, and it will help fight back the impulse buys you’ll no doubt have as the season’s sales go into full swing.
2. Make a List
Prepare yourself by making a list of who you’re shopping for, and exactly what you want to get them. Not only does this help you hone down your gifts to things you think your loved ones will like, but by knowing exactly what you want to buy when you head out you won’t end up with a shopping cart full of unnecessary extras.
3. Comparison Shop
Another reason to build a list of gifts, is that it will help you comparison shop. If you start your shopping early enough, you can compare the prices for similar gifts from store to store. This way, not only will the gift recipient be happy you took the time and effort to get them something special, you can also celebrate knowing you took the effort to find the best deal!
4. Coupons and Coupon Codes
If you’re creating your gift list, and gathering your ideas from brochures, flyers, and catalogues, now would be a good time to start clipping those coupons.
If you’re making your gift purchases online, a good idea to help save your hard earned money is to run a quick Google search for the item you’re looking for along with the phrase “coupon code”. With some internet sleuthing, and a bit of luck, you’ll come across an online promotion you may otherwise have missed.
5. Give Your Time
Christmas is the time for giving, but this doesn’t necessarily mean giving expensive gifts. Your loved ones are just as likely to appreciate spending the holidays with you as they are to be receiving your gifts. If you can organize an activity to spend quality time with your friends and family, this can be one of the greatest gifts you can give. Alternatively, you can give your time to making a gift, which can help you save on your budget as well.
6. Cut Travel Costs
If you intend on travelling to visit loved ones for the holidays, you have two strategies you can take.
The first strategy involves purchasing tickets for transportation early to avoid the spike in prices during peak season. This also allows you to comparison shop.
The second and riskier strategy involves waiting until the last minute. Sometimes you can come across big discounts, but this also makes it more difficult to plan your vacation as you’ll have to work it around the travel dates you’re able to purchase.
7. Save Before You Shop
Christmas shopping, although it only happens once a year, is an expense. In order to help relieve the expense, saving is your best tool. Start saving early and frequently and you’ll have more money to delegate for your gift purchases.
8. Make a Payoff Plan
Maybe it’s too late, or you weren’t able to save money for the holidays this year. That’s okay, you can start saving your money now in advance for next year. Now, if you plan on using credit to make your purchases this year, reduce your interest by making a realistic payoff plan to clear your credit. Also, try not to max out your credit cards, because this could negatively affect your credit.
Have a Happy Holiday
Follow our advice and ensure a happy holiday by saving money, while spending on the ones you love. For more financial advice, get in touch with your local financial advisor at Oegema, Nicholson & Associates Financial Inc. and save for more than just your holiday purchases!
Thanks for reading,
The ONA Team.