Budgeting Tips for the Holiday Season!
by Ruthie Maldonado, North Office Financial Education Coordinator
The delights of the holidays are upon us! Along with this comes major spending for many families. We start making our lists of gifts we have to buy, decorations, food, even our own personal wish list that no one is supposed to know about. We say “I have a limit and will stick to my budget”, until Black Friday arrives…… and the shopping frenzy begins. There is this sudden need to buy and credit cards make it very easy to spend beyond your means. Reality sets in quickly when you receive your new bill, review your checking/savings account and you come up short despite working hard to save!
How can we save ourselves from overspending our budget this holiday season?
- Make a list of your short term and long term financial goals, before making your holiday gift list. Try to be realistic with what you can afford to spend. Think about your future goals and how purchasing more can hinder you from getting to it.
- Have a “secret santa” with your family and friends: Many of us have too large of a guest list! With all the aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends and coworkers a secret santa is a great way to save money by buying only one gift but still keeping with the holiday spirit.
- Be a savvy consumer with coupons. Look on store websites. A few local stores like Mariano’s have a double coupon Wednesdays. Target has coupon deals on their website and discount stores like 5 Below can be great places to save money on name brand items.
- Get creative with gifts. It really is the thought that counts. You can find ways to craft and make gifts on Pinterest and other websites.
- Do not let the holidays drain your pockets or the savings you worked so hard to build. The holidays are not about gifts, it is about being grateful and being with the people you love. Don’t let advertising let you lose track of what counts!