Christmas is quickly approaching. It is time to start preparing everything: the lights, the tree, the candles, the Advent wreath… as well as our wallets! Christmas has become synonymous with spending money, with all of the decorations, food, parties, and gifting.
Waiting until December to plan for these expenses often results in you charging your purchases and paying them off — plus interest — well into the new year. This is why we’ve compiled a list of handy tips for managing our personal finances during the holiday season.
1. Credit Card Awards
A rewards credit card means exactly what it sounds: a credit card that rewards you for making purchases with it.
You can earn actual cash with little effort if you understand how rewards cards work. Most major credit cards offer rewards, but are the rewards significant enough to justify applying for the card? A rewards credit card, when used responsibly, can help you save money on everything from travel bookings to Amazon purchases.
However, not everyone understands how to maximize credit card rewards, and not everyone understands what a good rewards card can do for them.
Rewards credit cards offer enticing benefits such as cash back, points, or miles that can be used to stretch your budget or take a dream vacation. With so many no-annual-fee rewards cards on the market, you should have no trouble finding one that will help your bottom line without the need to go for an installment loan to get you out of debt. Paying an annual fee may also be worthwhile for some people.
2. Create a Saving Plan
The holiday shopping season doesn’t usually begin until November, but if you want to save for Christmas, you’ll need to start earlier.
Before you start saving for Christmas, consider how much you really want to spend this year and how much you can afford to spend.
Establishing a Christmas budget can help you avoid overspending. It can also provide you with a realistic figure to aim for when saving for Christmas.
If you haven’t already created a holiday budget, make a list of everything you intend to spend money on, including:
- Gift wrap
Then, for each holiday budget category, decide how much you want to spend.
3. Look for Presents Early
Don’t wait until Black Friday to start your Christmas shopping; look for deals all year. In July, get that stuffed Sasquatch on sale for your bigfoot-obsessed nephew. When you keep your list in mind throughout the year, you will spread out both your spending and your stress (and maybe even get rid of the stress altogether).
If you missed out on the early shopping opportunity this year, keep it in mind when you’re budgeting for the next Christmas season in January!
4. Sell Old Stuff
It’s almost that time of year again—the time to get more stuff. So, why not get rid of some of your old belongings? Not only will you make room for new items, but you’ll also earn money to spend on other people’s items.
Yes, we’re making a joke about it. You understand that the season isn’t supposed to be about stuff. But seriously, try getting rid of some items you never use and make some money in the process.
5. Join Christmas Club
A Christmas club, also known as a holiday club account, is a type of savings account into which people deposit money on a regular basis throughout the year. The accumulated savings are then withdrawn prior to the holiday season to cover holiday shopping and other expenses such as travel.
A Christmas club account, which automates deposits into the account throughout the year, will assist a consumer in saving for the holiday spending crunch. Saving throughout the year can help people avoid going into credit card debt to pay for gifts and can help enforce a holiday budget.
Be Good This Year
Everyone wants to give their family something special for the holidays, no matter what they’re celebrating this winter. However, saving enough money by December can be difficult. If you want to keep rocking around the Christmas tree without going broke, be more frugal with your spending and saving this season.