When you think about the holidays what things come to mind? For some, it could be getting to decorate your home, baking special seasonal treats, or splurging on the things you have wanted all year long. For others, it can be a time of high stress or anxiety in trying to make plans, buy gifts, and determine how the holidays will affordably align with your budget. PCS Debt Relief offers our best financial tips that will keep your holiday spending at par and the joy in high supply.
Determine Your Holiday Plans
Before you can begin preparing for the holidays, you have to know what you’re doing first. Decide if you will be traveling or hosting. Travel costs can have a substantial impact spending, especially if you wait too long to book flights and hotels. Hosting also comes with several costs, but preparation will help you get ahead and relieve some stress closer to the actual dates.
Take Inventory and Set Budgets
What do you already have? Do you have items or supplies from last year that you can reuse? How much will you spend in total and for each person? Are you planning on purchasing similar gifts or baking? Buying items in bulk over the holidays can save money, especially when deals start appearing in stores. Ask yourself these key questions in understanding what you need to buy and how much you can afford to spend.
Make a List
It’s a little cliché, but you know what they say: make a list and check it twice! Keep it short and simple. The holidays can be blown out of proportion with elaborate gifts and competition. This time of year is not about who can purchase the best present; it’s about coming together and spending time with the people you care about. Remind yourself of this and steer clear of competing for affection with price tags.
Don’t Rely on Credit Cards
Relying on credit cards can be a huge risk when your finances are already on rocky ground. In fact, Finder reports, “Most gift givers (68.9%) will be tapping into their savings to pay for some — or all — of their purchases. More than half (55.9%) will swipe or dip their credit cards, and 6.3% plan to borrow from friends and family to pay for gifts this year.” These statistics from last year prove that more than half of consumers are dependent on their credit cards to fund their holiday gift-giving efforts. Pulling from your savings and spending borrowed money are not wise ideas regardless of how stable your finances are.
You have a couple months to prepare, which gives you some time to decide how you will pay for the purchases before you make them. Digital payment and technology have made it so easy to mindlessly swipe and justify the purchase. Though credit cards tend to make shopping easier, cash helps slow spending down because you physically watch the money leave your wallet.
Download an App
What better way to stay on track and hold yourself accountable than use technology to your advantage? There is a surplus of budgeting apps, but there are also some designed specifically for holiday spending. Try out some apps to find the best one that works for you.
Research and Save Deals
Set reminders for when truly good deals end and take your coupons with you every time you go out. Do the research to know if you are actually getting a good deal. Most shoppers are allured by large discounts, but the deal could end up being a bust. More importantly, focus on friends and family instead of becoming dazzled by deals. It’s easy to get caught up in holiday sales and shopping, but the truly amazing thing about this time year is recognizing the things in your life you are grateful for.
Do you need help restructuring your spending habits and developing a custom financial plan? PCS Debt Relief is here to assist you. We help consumers and businesses nationwide achieve their financial goals and become debt free. We are here to listen to your concerns and find a solution that is realistic for you. Call us today at (636) 209-4481.