Have a Holiday Budget That Keeps on Giving
The holiday season is a special time during the year when spending time with the ones you love and gift exchanges are on everyone’s mind. While the holidays are full of joy, it can also become costly for many people. In fact, Americans spend on average over $1,000 on holiday-related purchases each year. Here are some tips on how to be a great gift giver while keeping to a budget.
Make a Gift List
Figuring out who you need to buy for is a great first step for planning for the holidays. Start by writing down a list of important people in your life that you would like to buy a gift. Sometimes, people set spending limits beforehand to help with the budgeting aspects of the holidays. If your budget is tighter this year, add a personal touch to your gift-giving. A homemade gift or photo album with great times had in it is a very thoughtful and inexpensive gift that could mean the world to someone you care about.
Review Your Finances Before Spending
Look over your previous holiday expenses to give yourself an estimate of how much you’ll need to save before buying. Review your budget to see where you are spending too much and consider alternatives. Be sure to pay attention to holiday deals from different stores, whether online or in-person; and be ready to take advantage of daily sales, clearances, and other limited-time offers. Don’t forget that coupons and promo codes are the gifts that keep on giving! Not sure when to go holiday shopping? Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great times to save money on popular items, and Small Business Saturday is the perfect opportunity to find unique gifts while supporting local businesses.
Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Early
The more you procrastinate with gift buying, the more money it can end up costing you over time. “Buying gifts earlier on instead of at the last minute saves us time, stress, and money. I would even recommend potentially stocking up on gifts that are gender-neutral or can be appreciated by multiple different loved ones. Buying decorations after the holidays can also be advantageous for the next holiday season,” says Rhea Alimchandani, Assistant Vice President, Community Banking Manager. Getting your shopping done early means you can enjoy the holidays even more!
Track Your Purchases
Although it’s a good idea to buy ahead, it could potentially lead to overspending. Abide by the saying “he’s making a list, and checking it twice” to keep track of what you have and what you still need. This practice will help you in the long run to plan for years to come.