Keeping the Holidays Budget-Friendly
by Carmen Gonzalez
The holidays are quickly approaching and our list of to-do’s to prepare is quickly growing! Our advice on holiday prep: Start with your budget first! Budgets are known to change during the holiday season because life is simply different during this time of year. Preparing before the rush of the holidays can take away stress and thinking outside of the box can keep costs low. Here are a few ways to keep the holiday season budget-friendly this year:
Create a Gifting Budget
Planning and budgeting for the holidays can help keep you from spending an entire paycheck on gifts, or even events. Make a list of every person you want to buy for and list how much you want to spend per person. Whatever number you list is what you need to stick to. Make sure your numbers are reasonable, and you are giving the right number to the right person. Once you have a set number for gifts, you can start searching for deals and gifts within your limits. If you start buying gifts as you find them on sale, you’re likely to be able to afford more, and in turn, stay within your budget.
Avoid Holiday Debt
You do not want to go into debt to cover the festivities, trust us! It becomes very tempting to charge things on a credit card when you are trying to give the best gifts, but going into debt to cover the holidays is a very dangerous thing. With racking up debt, you run the risk of paying more than what you bought was worth. Even worse, you can likely still be paying for last year’s holidays when the new holiday season rolls back around. Some credit cards offer special rewards during the holiday season. You can take advantage of these rewards, but don’t charge more than what you have in savings. Click here to learn more about Centric’s credit card options and any special promotions.
Gifting Options on a Budget
You can save a lot of money when it comes to gift giving if you think outside the box. If you want to buy for more people than your budget will allow, then it is time to get creative. Plan a gift exchange for your family, friends, or coworkers; and let everyone draw a name to buy a gift for. This way, everyone receives a gift, while keeping costs low. You can also plan a special moment for those near and dear to you. Whether it be a fun potluck movie night or driving around to look at Christmas lights, spending quality time with the ones you love will be the gift you remember most. And when all else fails, search Pinterest for fun, cheap DIY gifts to give. Be sure to check out our Pinterest boards for a ton of great gifts to make at home with your kiddos.
Once this year’s holiday season has passed, make sure one of your new year’s resolutions is to plan better for the next holiday season. In January, begin planning for the holiday season and start savings in advance. Centric offers a Santa Saver account that will hold your money throughout the year and will release it to you the first week of October. This allows you to keep holiday savings separate from your regular savings and gives you incentive to not touch the money set aside.
Now that you’ve gotten a good idea on where to start, get moving! Before you know it, we’ll be gathered around the Thanksgiving table and Christmas will be just a few short weeks away. Want to learn more? Click below to hear our latest episode of the Live Better Podcast, which focuses on all things relating to your holiday budget!
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