Interesting and sadly true, many families face monthly household budget deficits. Many needed household items are purchased with credit cards, meaning that families pay high interest rates just to survive. Despite the low interest rate environment in banks, credit cards are very expensive. This is causing families to realize that in order to have a great Christmas, they have to save a little extra money.
The holidays are especially conducive for festivities and seeing spending spiral out of control. With a few basic steps, you can keep your winter holiday spending under control.
Here are a few ideas:
REPAIR YOUR FAMILY FINANCES
For starters, why not sit down and try to plan your budget for this year? Look at items like decorations, food, parties, trips, etc. so that at least you have an idea what your costs may be. There are many tools and websites online that can help with this. One personal finance software that is becoming pretty popular is YNAB.
NOW, TRIM THAT PLANNED SPENDING
With a budget outline, examine where you can make cuts between now and the holidays. It's possible to add funds to your extra cash account by making minor cuts elsewhere. Forsaking frequent luxuries, that morning coffee on the way to work, unnecessary "things", etc. can add up and put extra money in your pocket. Pack your own lunch instead of eating out is another option. Along those same lines, go to the supermarket for groceries instead of taking the family out to dinner. Don't impulse spend on unnecessary "things". Scour your bank statement for direct pay non essentials like magazines, club dues, entertainment, etc. All of these items, while not large expenditures, can add up to noticeable savings. Tiny steps in saving can mean larger discretionary cash.
SWITCH FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND USE COUPONS
The race for accounts is on and some banks offer lower fees and cash incentives for opening up an account. The extra cash is credited to your account and can be a nice starter bonus towards your holiday budget. Another easy way is to use coupons when buying different items. The internet is filled with deals, along with newspapers and sometimes even the mail.. Use them to buy only what you need, and apply the cash saved towards your Christmas plans. All of this just makes your stretched budget go even further.
MAKE EXTRA CASH BY SELLING OLDER STUFF
Another quick way to put some extra cash in your pocket for the holidays is by selling stuff you no longer desire or need. You can easily find places online where you can take your unwanted items and get cash for them. If you haven't used something for a while or forgot you even had it, chances are it's time to let it go. This can apply to anything- electronic goods, clothes, recreational items, even the car that just sits because it doesn't run anymore? Dan Rosenberg from Cash for Cars says that many people end up missing out on an opportunity to make some extra money just because they don't think they could get money for it. Chances are someone is willing to pay money for your stuff. Remember the old saying, â€˜one's man junk is another man's treasure."
EARN FOR YOUR OPINIONS
If there's one thing that everyone has in this world, it's an opinion. One thing you may not know is that there are people out there that want to hear your opinion, and sometimes are willing to pay for it. Take a few minutes and browse the internet for survey websites that will compensate you for taking their survey. Who knows, you may be just a few clicks away from some extra cash.
With a little persistence and effort, you will come up with that extra savings for a great Christmas season.