There is nothing more exciting throughout the year than the holiday season but that also means you need to spend your money wisely. Did you know 43% of consumers struggle to afford any gift? Nearly 51% of Americans spend more than what they can comfortably afford on gifts during the holidays.
How much money is it worth spending on holidays? Should you set aside a certain amount? We have you covered on all the guiding principles to help you stick within your budget and spend your money wisely during this holiday season.
Say no to debt
The joy in the holiday season will be lost if you purchase gifts at the cost of debt. It’s not about extravagance. It’s about being financially strong. The final amount you can set aside for shopping will depend on your current situation, needs, and preferences and not on the plan you made a few months ago. Thus, if you had an unexpected emergency expense, all plans would have to be changed now.
Determine what you can afford
You might have had a plan to buy something for a really long time. But since 2021 was a challenging year for many, you might have had unexpected expenses. If you are short on your budget, don’t be tempted to buy what you had planned initially using credit. You will be paying more for the same product because of interest when you buy using credit. So, it’s advisable to set a new spending limit and plan accordingly. You can also start saving an amount to get the product by paying the total amount.
Suppose you have enough money to spend on a holiday but are unsure what to buy, experts suggest you spend depending on the relationship. Here are some Christmas shopping hacks to save while you spend.
Though it’s entirely up to you to decide how much money to spend, experts advise everyone to have spending limits — so that you can spread the funds equally for everyone you want to gift and not get into debt. They suggest $100 for spouses, $75-$100 for parents, $50 or more for siblings.
Spend money on kids
For kids, it’s $75 or more. Surveys show that 71% of Americans overspend on gifts for children under 18. Though visiting an amusement park with your kids on the weekend can be fun, it can cost a lot of money. If you can find coupons or promotions for entertainment and leisure activities, you can save a considerable amount without any effort. If there aren’t any discounts, you can also teach your children to enjoy playing in the park or going out for a picnic. And yes, don’t forget to treat yourself.
You will definitely want to spend $200 or $300 for your kids; but, if your budget is tight, you might get into trouble and not be in a position to afford essentials in the near future. And don’t forget the shipping charges and additional costs that come with all these gifts.
Shop with a list
Whether you are shopping online or in person, you will easily be swayed to buy more than what you had planned. This is because of the clever marketing, promotions, advertisements, skillful salespeople, etc. You can stay within the list and avoid crossing your budget limit if you have a list.
If you are shopping online, use browser extensions that automatically apply coupons to your orders. Slickdeals or Honey (which PayPal is acquiring) are really popular. You can also get a discounted gift card from Gift Card Granny to purchase at a discounted rate.
If you want to present a large gift, you and your friends can contribute some amount to add up for the final cost. This way, you can share the expense of an expensive gift.
You can consider making homemade gifts. These not only cost low but are have more value because of the time and effort you have put in. They are simply irreplaceable. These include homemade cookies, greeting cards, photo albums, and scented candles. You can also give coupons that might be useful for someone.
Perfect time to use bonuses
Your bank might offer rewards, deals, coupons, and discounts. Many people don’t know what discounts or offers they have, and they fail to redeem them before it expires. Several people miss out on offers just because they didn’t use them on time. Keep checking your online banking portal and somehow redeem the rewards before it expires.
You can also use the bonuses you get at work. If you had saved all the perks since the beginning, you would have a large sum of money now. If you haven’t saved it, you can start saving for holiday shopping from January 2022. Create a special budget for you to spend your money wisely and have a stress-free, debt-free holiday season.