With Christmas and New Year just around the corner, it will become frightfully difficult to keep a track off the money that you will spend. The holiday season brings a list of expenses such as – gifts, entertainment, decorations, travel, etc. Most of us end up spending more than we intended to during the holidays. The holidays are meant for celebrating the real spirit of family, friends and togetherness, instead, holidays have become a reason to worry over having to spend a lot. You can turn this festive season into a fun-filled one by planning ahead and making sure that you do not end up over-spending. Want to know how? Here are some of the easiest ways through which you can manage your holiday budget. Take a look!
Set a Budget
You must have heard this quite a lot, but setting a budget will actually help you curb your expenses. When you set a budget before-hand, you get a clear idea on how much you can shell out for the holidays. Once you have a budget, make sure that you stick to it. To ensure that you do not go over the budget, make a detailed list of every spending category (gifts, food, decorations, etc) for the holidays separately. When you have everything listed out, allot a set budget for every category. Ask yourself questions like:
- How much will you spend on Christmas?
- What is the budget for the gifts?
- What is the budget of the gift for per person?
- Are you going to travel and how much can you spend on it?
This way you get a clear idea on how much you can spend without hampering your saved expenses or credit card bills.
Shop Early to Save Money
Most of us wait for the festival sales to get our shopping done. But these festive sales are always crowded with other people doing their festival shopping. Don’t wait until the last moment to finish your shopping. Sales offer the best deals and bargains during the initial few days. If you plan on putting off your holiday shopping till the last moment, there is a high chance that most of the stuff will be sold out or available at a higher price. Be an early bird to save money.
Make Use of Credit Card Points
Do you use a credit card for your monthly expenses? If you do, chances are that you must have earned quite a few points. The holiday season is absolutely the best time to redeem and make use of these points. These credit card points will cover certain expenses and save you the extra few bucks. Time to cash out your saved points!
Whether you are shopping online or offline, it is always better to compare prices. A lot of stores offer the exact same products at different prices. It has happened to a lot of us that after we buy something, we see the same product available at a lesser price on a different store. Comparing prices on online stores is just a matter of few clicks. On the other hand, comparing prices on offline stores is a tad bit difficult. Online stores have a lot of great amazing deals, discounts and cashback offers that you can check from the comfort of your home. Make sure that you stay safe as well as save big while shopping online. Comparing prices through price comparison websites can help people a great deal while shopping online.
Coupons Instead of Gifts
If you are going to buy personalized gifts for everyone, chances are that it might mess with your budget. Gifts take up a large part of the expenses. To reduce the budget that you spend on gifts, you can opt for gift cards or coupons instead of personalized gifts. If you choose to give coupons, your friends and family have the choice to buy something that they are looking for. Plus, coupons could help you save up on a lot of money.
If you are planning to travel somewhere during the holidays, then make sure that you do not over-spend on that. Set the budget you can comfortably spend for your holiday and plan things according to the budget. Flight tickets and hotel rooms are the most expensive part of a travel plan. So, start planning early so that you stick to your travel budget. Book flight tickets and hotel rooms much earlier because the price shoots up as you near the holidays. Flight tickets are cheap when you book them months ahead; so is the case with hotel rooms.
Holidays and festivals are the time to relax and make memories with your family. Do not waste this time with last minute shopping and over-spending. Planning ahead will not stop you from over-spending but will also let you enjoy this festive season. Protect your financial future and spend time with your loved ones this holiday season.