Budgeting for the Holidays
Don’t let the holiday shopping season sneak up on you. Take the stress out of the holidays with these budget-friendly strategies.
Spread Cheer on a Budget This Year
Planning for the holiday season is different this year, with a focus on spending quality time without spreading germs. With less travel and smaller gatherings, it may be tempting to go all out on food, décor and gifts at home. Whatever your holiday celebrations look like this year, you want to make the time special for your loved ones — without adding stress or overextending your budget.
Take the stress out of the holidays with these budget-friendly strategies:
1. Estimate your expenses.
Review your past holiday spending for an estimate of how much you spend in different areas — gifts, gift wrap, shipping costs, decorations, holiday meals, travel, charitable donations and more.
2. Set a holiday budget.
Determine how much you want to spend on gifts and other holiday expenses. Track your purchases and keep a running total of holiday-related expenses so you’ll know if you’re staying under budget.
3. Shop with a list.
In the quest for finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list, it’s easy to overspend your budget. Make a list of everyone you need to buy for and how much you plan to spend. Stick to this list.
4. Start early.
Purchase gifts earlier in the season if you can. If you leave shopping until the last minute, you may make purchases you don’t need because you’re feeling rushed and frustrated. Plan ahead to shop the sales strategically so you can score some big deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
5. Simplify gift-giving.
It’s easy to get carried away buying gifts for the people you care about. This year might be a good time to slow down and reimagine the way you approach gift-giving with your family and friends. Consider investing in experiences together in place of material gifts — an outing to see holiday lights or a holiday-themed movie night.
6. Earn rewards.
Shop wisely with a credit card that earns you rewards on holiday purchases. Make the most of your rewards and cash back when you use your credit card this season.
7. Start saving in January.
Create a special savings account for next year’s holiday festivities. Set up automatic transfers to keep your savings growing throughout the year. Learn more about saving money with Amegy Bank.