Budgeting for the Holidays!
Financial Blog from Your Chief Financial Officer
It’s that time of the year again. The Holidays, yeah! COVID-19 quarantine has made us anxious to get out and shop but wait a moment! Take a deep breath. You will want to budget your holiday spending to maximize all your dollars$$.
Set yourself up to start the New Year off right by planning appropriately for your holiday expenses. First you need to have a plan and your plan should have started months ago, nonetheless, here we are with one month before Christmas. Alright, if you have $1,000 to spend then you need to create a list with the amount you are willing to spend next to each name on the list.
Shoppers who make a list to purchase are more likely to not exceed their budget. This means making a complete list and staying with the plan. Don’t wait for the last moment to do your shopping. Start early as it is more ideal to do your holiday shopping all throughout the year to capitalize on the best deals. Use cash during the holiday times, it will be harder to fork over large amounts of cash for your purchases. One tends to be less free when spending cash. If you are one of the fortunate ones that saved all year long to now spend during the holiday time, then cash is the way to go.
This holiday season will be especially tough for many people. Keep your credit card usage to a minimum especially this holiday season since we are still watching to see how well we will bounce back from this economy downturn. Being stressed out during COVID-19 does not give you the opportunity to go crazy during the holiday time. If anything, put those credit cards in the freezer. Many retailers will try to entice you to open credit cards during this time, however, refrain from doing so. Credit may be easier to get, but it will be harder when the time comes to pay that bill and you don’t have the money, or a job.
Borrowing money to please your families and friends during the holiday season is not a good idea, as it is too hefty a price to pay especially when interest is being added.
I would suggest the following five things;
- Start saving early in the new year for your spending on holiday gifts.
- Set automatic deduction from your paycheck or automate an amount into a Holiday Savings Account, by doing weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deposit to that account.
- Create a budget and stay with it!
- Start your naughty or nice list for the families and friends you want to buy for.
- Re-evaluate your list as you go.
Maybe this is the year you rethink your gift giving. A few years ago, I informed my family that I will not be giving gifts that year and I will be gifting investing education. Let me tell you it did not go over well with them. I opened a few online trading accounts with STASH, ACORN and TD Ameritrade for them with a few hundred dollars$$ and the education began. So, think outside the box and come up with different gift giving ideas for 2020. Remember, “It’s the thought that counts, not the amount you spend.”
Happy holidays and happy budgeting. Please stay healthy and safe!