How To Manage Spending As The Holiday Approaches

How To Manage Spending As The Holiday ApproachesAs the holidays approach, one of the big problems consumers have is how to manage spending without totally killing off the holiday vibe. After all, the season is mostly about giving to others and that is quite hard when you are running a tight budget. A lot of people are set to spend hundreds of dollars this month and you are looking to do the same.

After all, it is not mostly for your own need. You would be spending money this holiday for other people. This means it is for family and friends as a way to show your love and appreciation for them. The more people you have in your life, the costlier the holiday gets for you. Not to mention how you need to budget better if you have extended family at home. As you scribble down their names on a piece of paper, you start to feel cold sweat running through your forehead.

As write down the name of your significant other, children, parents, siblings, other relatives, and even your friends, you could end up with a long list. The longer your list, the higher your total amount will be for the holidays. This does not only go for gifts you will be giving them but for other expenses as well. Are you going to visit family this holidays? That trip could be a big cost factor. Are you inviting friends over for a meal? You would need to factor in costs as well.

As you try and manage spending this holiday season, here are a few key things to remember to help you remain in the spirit of the season without breaking your piggy bank.

Stick to a holiday budget

Before you even think about all the expenses the holidays would bring, it is important that you have a holiday budget.Especially as the  National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend about $967.13  this holiday season. Remember that it is nice to have this separate from your regular monthly household budget. Simply because that is your top priority when it comes to your finances. After you have allocated the necessary funds for your monthly living expenses, only then should you start putting your holiday budget together.

Ideally, you already have a good amount saved up at this point. This is because you run the risk of getting into completely avoidable debt without it. Your credit cards are not there to bail you out. Once you start using it for unbudgeted expenses then the chances are, you wouldn’t have the money to pay for it at the end of the month.

Once you have that holiday budget, the next hardest thing to help you manage spending is to actually follow it. You need to understand that creating a budget and following the same are two completely different discipline. One is equally just as challenging as the other. You need to make sure that you stick to your holiday budget otherwise, your efforts in putting that budget together would be for nothing.

If you have to use your card, pay it off

Your credit card is a great financial tool, that is if you know how to use them to your advantage. There are ways to use your credit card without landing in debt. This holiday season, it can actually help you put some sense of order in your efforts to manage spending. For one, you can use your credit card to pay for all your expenses this coming holiday season. That can make a lot of sense when it comes to managing your expenses for the month.

For one, it is a lot more convenient to swipe your card rather than carry large amounts of cash with you as you go around and shop. Your credit card is also a preferred payment option when it comes to online shopping. You can also quickly and easily review your expenses when you take a look at your credit card bill either online or at the end of the month.

Doing so would give you the chance to take advantage of the credit card rewards you have for that specific card. Imagine if you have a cash back program, you can put in that extra amount in paying the bills or buying another gift for your children. Just remember one very important thing once the bill comes due – pay it in full. Choosing to put down the minimum amount will only put you in debt in the coming months.

Look for holiday deals

This is a double-edged sword but if you can control your buying behavior, this can do wonders in helping you manage spending this holiday season. If you are planning to buy a lot of the same items, look for those deals lets you buy one and get another one for free. If there are none, check out those stores that offers you a discount on succeeding purchases after buying a full-priced item.

There are also some online shops that would be happy to ship your items for free once you meet a minimum amount. One tip is to do all your online shopping on the same day to help you reach that amount. If you also get the chance to get any online coupons or discount, you can use it to save up on your total amount.

Be creative with your holiday decorations to manage spending

As you look to manage spending this coming holidays, you might want to look for ways to save up on decors as well. For one, you might want to pull out that box labeled “Xmas decors” and see if there is anything you can still use. Pull out the that big Christmas tree and set it up. Put out the decors and test the lights as well.

Once you have them, this is the time to look at what you can do to improve your decors. But before you head on out to the store, try to ask yourself if you can make some of the decors yourself. You can even bring in the kids to help out. Rather than colorful balls on the tree, why not have family photos all around it? Ask the kids how they want the decors to be like and do it as a family activity. Not only will you be able to save money, you get to start a new tradition with your kids.  

Check how you can lower down expenses at home

As you try and manage spending for the holiday season, know that one of the most effective ways is to lower down your expenses. This can be keeping an eye out on your lights inside the house especially if you will be putting big and colorful ones outside. You might even try to look at your subscriptions and see what you no longer need. The bottomline here is to lower down some expenses at home so you can put that money over to your holiday spending.

It is tough to try and manage spending around this time of the year because everything around you is making you spend. You just have to be smarter with your spending and look for ways where you can save money. The items on top can help you rein in on your holiday expenses so you can end the year on a high note.