Holiday Money Management Tips
Money management during the holidays can be difficult. Between buying gifts, traveling, and cherished holiday experiences, the holiday season can bring additional expenses that complicate managing finances.
There are a lot of different factors to consider when it comes to saving for the holidays. Following holiday shopping tips are important, but saving and holiday budgeting tips might be the most important way to stick to your budget and manage your money wisely.
These are a few strategies for holiday financial tips that can help your budgeting plan work for you. Arkansas Federal Credit Union can help you save for your holiday experiences with our savings and checking accounts you can use for your holiday budgeting.
Holiday Shopping on a Budget
Sticking to a budget during the holiday season can be difficult. Following these tips can help make staying on track with your budget easier.
Create a Budget
Creating a budget is one of the most important steps in holiday money management. It’s a good idea to get as specific as possible with your budget. You should include all expected holiday-related expenses, from holiday meals to travel to gift buying.
It’s a good idea to write down what you’re expecting to spend money on and also how much you’re expecting to spend on each item. It’s also a good idea to add in some additional unplanned expenses if you want the ability to stick to a budget but still be able to attend last-minute holiday gatherings or buy last-minute gifts as needed.
Including specific gifts for people in your budget can help you stay ahead of the game because you can plan for exactly how much you’ll be spending. If you aren’t sure what you’re planning to get someone, including an expected price range for each person you plan to spend money on can help you budget. When estimating spend, it’s a good idea to budget for more than you actually plan to spend to help account for taxes or potential shipping costs.
Start Shopping Early
Early shopping is one of the easiest ways to help you stick to your holiday budget. If you’re shopping for specific gifts and have time before the holidays, you have time to search for deals or sales, which will help you stay within or under budget.
Early shopping can also help you stay on budget by helping you avoid extra charges like expedited shipping to make sure your gifts arrive on time.
When you’re shopping for others, it can be hard to pass up buying fun items you find for yourself along the way. Avoiding buying things for yourself and only sticking to your planned purchases can help you stick to your budget and decrease your spending during the holiday season.
Compare Short-term Financing Options
Some online retailers offer buy now, pay later short-term financing options on their websites. This allows you to buy your holiday gifts and pay for them in smaller payments over time. However, buy now, pay later options are considered a line of credit, like a credit card, and may require a credit check as well as high-interest rates.
Short-term financing can be a good option if you’re in need of credit, but it’s important to be careful. Some buy now, save later options or even overusing these options can be risky, and you could damage your credit score. If you plan on using buy now, pay later options, comparing credit cards to short-term options can be helpful.
Holiday Saving Tips
Budgeting and saving for the holidays can be very different. Budgeting involves planning for your purchases, and saving is more focused on finding deals or ways to spend less money. Saving during the holidays is a great way to help you stick to your budget or even stay under budget.
Rewards and Deals
Looking for rewards and deals is a great saving option all the time, but especially during the holidays when companies tend to offer extra rewards. Before making a purchase, you should look for rewards or app deals that companies may be offering. You may even be able to combine several shopping rewards to save as much as possible.
Set Price Alerts
If you’ve planned out your gift purchases early, you can set price alerts for specific items you’re planning on buying. Alerts allow you to get notified when prices drop, which can help you spend less than you’ve budgeted on specific items and save more.
Organizing a group gift exchange between your family or friends can take some of the stress out of the holidays because you’ll only be expected to buy one gift instead of one for everyone. You’ll only have to plan one gift idea, and you’ll only have to purchase one gift. This is a great way to plan savings into your holiday gifting without cutting people out.
A lot of people think that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the only days for big savings during the holidays. There are a lot of different types of sales throughout the entire holiday season. If you plan your purchases early and know what types of products you’re looking for, you can shop deals on these items any day, not just on big holiday sale days.
Start Saving With Arkansas Federal
Managing finances during the holidays can be stressful. Towards the end of the year, money can be tight, and there are the added expenses that come with celebrating the holidays. Planning for holiday spending can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be.
Following these holiday budgeting tips can help make holiday spending more manageable for you. Budgeting for holidays is extremely important, but without a savings plan to create your holiday budget, it might not help that much.
Arkansas Federal has a variety of savings account options available. Contact us today or visit us in person at one of our local branch options to learn more about what saving option is the best fit for your specific situation.