With the holidays coming up, we know finances can be a bit stressful. We are here to help. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get you through the holiday season without breaking your bank or your sanity.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
- Ask yourself, “what am I comfortable spending without feeling stressed?”. Consider the gifts you will need to buy and the holiday events you will be attending. Take this amount and write it down.
- Don’t try and plan the perfect Christmas, but instead create a budget you’re comfortable with and work in the details from there.
- Don’t let this amount be negotiable. Set a personal goal to stick within your budget and hold yourself accountable.
Make a List & Check It Twice
- Make a list of every person you plan to buy for – don’t forget to include gifts for gift exchanges, teachers, bus drivers, etc. Next to each person, jot down gift ideas and the maximum amount you are willing to spend on that person. Ensure your individual amounts don’t total more than the budget you created earlier.
- Set a small portion of your budget towards an ‘Other’ category. Use for expenses such as gift wrap, cards or for expenses incurred from holiday events such as food, drink and a safe ride home.
- Consider homemade or personalized gifts. Make cookies or create gift certificates to spend time with your loved ones doing activities they enjoy such as reading, going for a walk, tobogganing, etc. Not only will you save money, but the memories you create will last a lifetime.
Earn Extra Money
- Consider picking up a part-time job during the holiday season. Many retailers hire seasonal help, allowing you to work a few extra hours each week to earn extra cash. Put this money directly towards your holiday spending budget or into your savings account.
Start Saving Now
- Open up a gift giving savings account. Each payday put a set amount into this account that you can then use to purchase gifts.
- Put money into an account all year round. Set up automatic payments to go into an account every payday and build your gift giving savings fund for future years.
Shop Around & Start Early
- Don’t leave your shopping to the last minute. This can cause you to go over budget due to rushing and grabbing whatever items you can to get your shopping done in time.
- Compare retailers that offer the same products you are wanting to purchase. Check locally or online for your best price.
- Shop local. Not only will you find great gift ideas, but you will also be supporting local businesses within your community.
- Take advantage of sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Check your local flyers for sales near you as many start their holiday sales early.
- If shopping online, be aware of shipping minimums and purchase multiple items at once to save on shipping and/or qualify for free shipping.
- Local craft shows are a great place to find personalized gifts at a great price. If you find an item over your budget, talk to the vendor and see if they can customize a piece within your price range.
Not only can these tips save you money, but also time and stress when it comes to the holiday season. From all of us at Conexus, we hope you have a fun, safe and stress-free holiday season.