It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s often the most expensive. Between the gifts, food and festivities, it’s easy to get carried away with your spending and throw caution to the cold, December wind. But with a few smart tips, you can keep your budget in check and end the year on a high note.
Spend Less Without Giving Less
Although we may want nothing more than to wow our loved ones with the hot-ticket item of the season, it’s not always practical. If you’re looking for ways to save a little money, try thinking outside the box (literally), and give the gift of experiences instead. You could spend a day baking cookies and watching movies with a loved one, or treat a friend to coffee and conversation. Another inexpensive holiday gift is a framed photo of you and someone you care about. A sentimental thought can go a long way toward showing someone how much you love and appreciate them without breaking the bank.
Make Your “Nice List”
Unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid holiday spending completely. But make sure you’re prepared for the financial commitment the season brings. Make a shopping list, and then check it twice! Listing the names of the people you want to shop for and the items you’re looking to buy will make you a more attentive shopper. This way, you can also easily track your spending and make sure you’re staying within your holiday budget.
Beware Holiday Bargains
Whether it’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any of the countless other deals available this time of year, think before you swipe. With confidence up, consumers are expected to buy more on credit this holiday season than in years past. And while it’s great to see people feeling good about their finances, make sure you have enough cash to cover your expenses. Taking on more debt than you can realistically pay off can spell trouble down the road. But if you do find yourself struggling to pay down debt in the New Year, know that we’re here to help you make a debt repayment plan.
If this year’s holiday shopping snuck up on you, take some steps to avoid that happening again next year with a dedicated Savings account. This way, you can put away $10, $50 or even $100 each month, so when jingle bells start ringing next year, you have a gift fund ready to go.
Whatever your holiday shopping strategy might be, remember that Summit is here to help you manage your spending and enjoy the very best of the season. Happy holidays!