The holidays are just around the corner. This year may look a little different from past holiday seasons but one thing remains the same, tis the season of giving. With the season of giving comes the season of spending. Are you ready for that?
The best way to prepare for the holidays is to create a budget and stick to it!
Write out a list of recipients
- List every single person you plan on giving a gift to. Start with those who are closest to you like your mom and dad and work your way to the end of the list. Will you be giving a thank you card to your mailman this year? Include him/her on this list too. No gift is too small to be included on this list.
List all of your possible holiday expenses
- Be detailed when you make your list. Everything from the gift itself to the wrapping supplies. Will you be giving out Christmas cards? Write down the cost for those as well as the postage that will go along with that.
Decide on your spending limit
- Review your accounts and decide on a budget. After you have reviewed your list of recipients, you can now plan on how much you want to spend this year. Set up your budget and stick to it.
Make a shopping list
- Create a shopping list for all the purchases you expect to make for the holidays. This also includes your grocery list. Are you planning on giving out baked goods? Don’t forget that the groceries should be added to both your spending limit and shopping list.
Be proactive and do your research
- DO NOT wait until the last minute to buy your gifts. Once you have set up your list of recipients and have brainstormed their gift ideas, start doing your research. There may not be a physical black Friday this year but there will be plenty of online sales and deals. Search the internet and hunt down the best prices for your gift giving ideas.
Utilize any cash back apps and discounts
- When making these online purchases, make sure to utilize cash back apps like Rakuten before you make your purchases. Companies will pay Rakuten a commission for sending customers like you their way. When these companies pay out, Rakuten will then share their commission with you in the form of cash back.
- In addition to cash back apps like Rakuten, there are other apps that will allow you to earn rewards, like the Fetch Rewards app. All you have to do is scan your receipts for points and once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can choose from a list of rewards
Track your purchases and stay on top of your budget
- Once you start your holiday shopping, keep your shopping list and budget sheet handy. Write down the final gift you decide on per person and the cost of said gift. Make sure to subtract each amount from your running budget total to stay on track
Stick with a cash system
- Using credit cards for gift purchases can typically lead to over spending. Try and stick with a cash only system.