Budgeting for the Holidays

According to the American Psychological Association, financial problems are the leading cause of holiday stress. Proper planning and smart shopping techniques can help you enjoy the holiday season and stay within budget while finding something special for everyone on your list. Consider the following tips for holiday budgeting:

  • Check your shopping list. Make sure everyone you’re shopping for needs a gift.
  • Track your spending. Write down the maximum amount you’re willing to spend for your entire list and track your budget as you shop.
  • Budget for additional expenses. When planning your budget, remember there will be additional expenses associated with holiday decorating, traveling and hosting dinners or parties.
  • Buy in bulk. Bulk shopping is often cheaper and it ensures you’ll always have something small on hand for unexpected gifts.
  • Plan ahead. When it comes to shopping for deals, searching for gifts early can increase your chances of finding good bargains. Pay attention to ads and promotions.
  • Give homemade gifts. Homemade gifts can be a great alternative to shopping and the opportunities are endless.
  • Get a seasonal or part-time job. Consider picking up a second job for extra spending cash, such as wrapping gifts at the local mall or working at one of your favorite retailers or restaurants.
  • Be realistic. When shopping, ask yourself if you can really afford the things you’re buying. Make sure you have the cash in your bank
  • account to pay for gifts before purchasing them.
  • Use cash. When shopping, leave your credit cards at home. Then, if you do not have the cash to pay for a gift, you won’t be able to buy it.
  • Consider online shopping. Many retailers waive shipping fees during the holidays and you can save money on gas.

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