How to Prepare Financially for the Holidays
With October over, the holidays are now just around the corner. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in all of the holiday excitement from Thanksgiving into New Years. Being with loved ones, buying gifts, making delicious food and traveling makes this a fantastic time of year but it does comes at a cost. Do not start the New Year in credit card debt and save yourself the stress by planning your finances now for the holidays.
With October over, the holidays are now just around the corner. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in all of the holiday excitement from Thanksgiving into New Years. Being with loved ones, making delicious food, buying gifts and traveling makes this a fantastic time of year but it does comes at a cost. Do not start the New Year in credit card debt and save yourself the stress by planning your finances now for the holidays.
Make a Budget
Look at your holiday expenses from the previous year and ask yourself if you spent more than you wanted or just the right amount. Consider where you spent too much money and how you can prevent yourself from splurging. By making a budget and sticking with it, you can avoid accidentally spending too much money or forgetting the essentials. Your budget can be as extravagant or as tight as you need it to be, but having everything planned out makes each task less daunting.
Your list might include:
- Gifts – How many people do you need to buy gifts for? What is your budget per gift?
- Travel – Will you need to take a flight to see your loved ones?
- Food – How much food will you need to make or restaurants will you dine at?
- Holiday Outfits – Do you want a new outfit to celebrate each holiday?
- Decorations – How much do you need to decorate?
Also, try to allocate some money for emergencies just in case anything happens and you are not strapped for funds. Make sure that your budget is not unrealistically tight because you will be setting yourself up for unnecessary frustrations. If you need help budgeting, there are many financial apps you can use to maintain your budget and track your spending.
How Can I Make My Money Stretch Further?
Now that you know what you need to buy and have your price cap, there are many other things you can do to save even more money.
Money saving tips:
- Credit Card Rewards: Check your credit card for any rewards you might have been accumulating over the year and redeem them.
- Travel: If you need to travel, always buy your tickets early before the prices go up.
- Email Notifications for Good Deals: Subscribe to mailing lists from your favorite stores to get alerts for promotions and discounts. Some stores also have deals where you can buy a $100 dollar gift card and get a $25 dollar gift card for free.
- Arts and Crafts: If there are many people you need to buy gifts for, get crafty. This way you can give your loved ones a personalized gift at a fraction of the price. Maybe now’s the time to start a craft project like knitting a scarf or making a quilt. Craft websites offer many tutorials on gifts that will be just as fun to make as they are to give.
- Secret Santa: You can also ask the people who you are spending the holidays with to do a secret gift exchange. This will extremely cut down the amount of people you need to buy gifts for.
- Big Shopping Days: Mark the big shopping days on your calendar to take advantage of great deals. While most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday there is also Free Shipping Day on Friday the 15. On this day, participating stores offer free shipping. Make sure to check each store’s conditions as they might require a minimum order requirement or promotion code.
- Food Prep: Food preparation might be the second biggest stress factor when it comes to the holiday season. Make sure that you plan ahead of time with the people you will spend each holiday with to figure out who will bring what so that you can budget accordingly. Ask yourself if you need to accommodate for any dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance or veganism.
- Make a Holiday Savings Account: Now is the perfect time to make a saving’s account just for the holidays. This way you can start saving a little with each paycheck without the possibility of accidently dipping into your holiday savings. Some banks still have a Christmas Club saving program that started in the early 20th century. They work by depositing set amounts of money regularly into the account which the bank will give back at the end of the year. However, if you try to take money out too early, you will need to pay a fee.
How can I get extra cash for the holidays?
After making your budget and planning the fine details with your loved ones, do you find yourself strapped for funds? There are plenty of ways you can make extra money before the holidays come. See if you can pick up extra hours at your job or get a seasonal job.
Do you have things gathering dust in a storage unit? You can consider selling things that you no longer need. The rule of thumb is that if you have not touched something in a year, and it is not sentimental, you should get rid of it. There are many options for selling your things such as online ads or auction websites. At WP Diamonds, we can help you sell your diamonds, jewelry, and watches safely and easy.
How to Sell with WP Diamonds
As specialist online jewelry buyers we have an A+ rating with the BBB and hundreds of satisfied customers. Simply fill out our online form to get a price quote or contact our GIA certified gemologists at 646-758-0270. With our honest and competitive pricing, you can be paid in as little as 24 hours from filling out the online form. The whole process is quick, safe and free of charge. Click the button below to get a price quote today.