This time of year is when a lot of people go into debt, but that doesn’t need to happen if you plan, prepare and be smart about Christmas. Not only will planning ahead of time help the pocket book, it will also lighten the load and ease the stress. So here are some tricks and tips to staying on budget this year.
Switch things up
What I mean is don’t feel the pressure of having to gift “things” this year. Give experiences, essentials (clothing, bath towels, swimming suit, etc.) or things to make memories. Not only can this be great in making memories with your kids but it will help your kids to not feel entitled.
Buy clearance items
I’ve found some great gifts on clearance that I’ve stashed away for Christmas. You don’t need to feel like you have to buy everything in November and December, spread it out and buy all year round. I just recommend making a note of what you’ve bought and for who because even though you saved and bought it before Christmas it’s easy to go over your budget when spread out through the year.
Set up automatic transfers
Did you know your bank can set up automatic transfers between your accounts? Set up your accounts to automatically set aside money for Christmas each month or every paycheck, whatever works for you. This is a great option if you’re not disciplined to do it yourself every month. Or if you can’t set it up through your bank, talk to your HR/employer to see if they’re able to send a portion of your paycheck to a savings account. There are options out there to help you save.
Make your list and check it twice
Set up your list at the beginning of the holidays, or even year. Make a list of what everyone wants (great to add to as they find more things they want) and the price you see them for. Then when the price drops you’ll know when to buy. It’s a great way to get the best deal for what you want. I also love to use CamelCamelCamel to find the lowest price Amazon has dropped the item to.
Don’t let Christmas and the holidays get you in debt and stressed out so much that you can’t enjoy them! Remember what the true meaning of Christmas is and enjoy the time you get with those you love.