Holiday shopping list? While it’s only October, it won’t be long before the holiday season approaches. If you tend to have a tight budget or an extensive shopping list, you’ll want to start making plans now. The last thing you want is to wait until the last minute and stress over how you’ll afford the gifts your loved ones have asked for. Although the holidays aren’t all about presents, it’s something magical about being able to put a smile on their faces.
So, if you’re going to tackle that holiday wish list without the headache, you need to develop a budget and start setting money aside. Continue reading for advice on how to afford everything you need for the holiday season.
Review Credit Card Accounts
If you’re going to use your credit cards to cover holiday shopping this year, evaluate your accounts to see your current status. How much money do you have to spend? More importantly, how long is it going to take you to repay the balance? If your balances are high, start making additional payments now to make room for gifts. Make sure that you’re making your payments on time to avoid a credit card late fee.
You should also take this time to take advantage of any perks or programs your credit card company offers. For instance, getting points towards free purchases or cashback offers by shopping at popular retail stores can save you money during your holiday shopping.
Scale Back On Spending
Now is the time to be frugal about your spending habits. If there are things you’re spending money on that are unnecessary, eliminate them from your budget. For instance, removing add-ons for streaming services, making coffee at home, eating out less, or avoiding leisurely shopping for the next few months can boost your holiday shopping fund.
Bring Home More Money
If you need a bit more money for the holidays, try adding to your income. This time of year, employers are always looking for additional help. You can take on a part-time job or consider a side gig to help you bring in more money. Just ensure that you put the money in a separate account, so you don’t spend it prematurely.
Set A Limit
While you want nothing more than to get your loved ones exactly what they asked for, you must set limits. If buying a gift is going to cause you to go bankrupt, it’s not worth purchasing. Evaluate your budget and everyday expenses to determine how much you have to pay for holiday shopping. Then divide that amount of money by the number of people you have to shop for and use that as a cap to ensure you don’t spend too much.
Keep An Eye Out For Deals
Companies are dying for your business and will price their products and services competitively to try and beat out the competition. That means there will be a lot of discounts and promotional offers on popular holiday gift ideas. If you want to maximize your budget, you must keep an eye out for deals. The closer you get to the holiday season, the more advertisements you’ll see to get huge savings. Use comparison shopping methods to get quality merchandise at an affordable rate.
If You Can’t Afford It…
If there are gifts on your holiday shopping list you still can’t afford after all your efforts, don’t purchase them. Instead, come up with a more affordable or creative alternative. For example, ask your kids for five items they’d like for Christmas. If you can’t afford the most expensive item, buy the next affordable thing on the list. Similarly, if your significant other’s gift request is too costly, you could hand-make something or use your talents to create an experience that’s meaningful yet affordable.
Holiday shopping is one of the most stressful subjects for adults. You get overwhelmed trying to accommodate the desires of those you love. Some people go so deep into debt during this time of year that it takes them months to recover. Rather than share the same fate, it’s best to start planning now. By using the suggestions listed above, you can afford your holiday shopping list and make someone you love really happy in the process.