Staying on Budget during the Holidays: #Budget
The holidays are upon us! It’s the most wonderful time of year. But spending too much money to spread holiday cheer is far from wonderful. Often times, the ‘season of giving’ means next season will be dedicated to paying off credit cards with high interest, or worse yet, late fees. Try something new this year; give yourself a gift by staying on budget with these helpful tips.
Make a plan.
Keep your normal monthly spending in mind when establishing your holiday budget. Things like rent or mortgage, utilities and food costs, among other monthly payments, don’t go away during the holiday season. Creating a budget that fits those parameters will benefit you in the months to come.
Make a List.
Just like Santa, make a list. Compile the names of individuals for whom you would like to buy gifts. Then think of a few gift ideas and set a price limit, which will help narrow down those gift ideas. Creating a list will also save you from the hassle and panic of last-second shopping.
Unlike Santa, don’t wait until the night before to make all of your holiday purchases. After making your list, keep an eye out for deals. Don’t always jump on the first one you see though. Often times, other locations may have a better deal on similar products. Some retailers will even price match. Starting early and searching for deals can help you save money, and stay under that gift spending limit.
Credit and debit cards are extremely convenient, but be careful when shopping online. Sometimes it is easy to fall into a rabbit hole (or chimney if you’re in the holiday spirit) of gift purchases. We’ve all done it. One purchase leads to another, which leads to another and so on, until you have more gifts than people on your shopping list. Before shopping online, set boundaries and goals. Know what you have in mind before going online to purchase.
Keep it simple.
Let’s face it, sometimes, only we know what we really want. Why would somebody on your list be any different? Gift cards are simple, quick and many times make the best all-around gift. Purchasing an all-purpose gift card, such as a Visa® gift card from Mid Penn Bank, not only makes it easy to stay under budget, but it avoids the awkward moment of delivering the wrong gift.