Even if you watch spending the rest of the year, around the holiday is really when you can expect to see your card swiping even more than usual, racking up that credit card balance, probably as we speak. The charges have probably started pouring in around Thanksgiving, as you probably either attended or hosted a dinner. Now that we are into December, Christmas shopping will be in full force over the next few weeks, having that statement balance come in into January, probably wondering how you will pay that back, so you might want to try to avoid overspending around the holidays.
Once you go on a roll for shopping it actually gets fun to buy gifts for others, making it difficult to stop, as you continue to see things that the person may enjoy. Before the charges get completely out of hand, you may want to start tracking, whether you use a spreadsheet or an app, whatever you will actually look at, in order to see how much you have spent so far. If you can budget for each person that you plan to buy for, you can work on staying within that limit.
Cut Back in Other Areas
In order to free up extra money around the holidays could mean cutting back in other areas. Going out to eat, whether it’s lunch, dinner, or even stopping for coffee, can add up pretty quickly over the course of the month. If you can go grocery shopping and prepare your meals at home, even brewing coffee in the morning to take with you in the travel mug, you can free up hundreds of dollars this month, and probably not a bad suggestion could forward to continue to save money each month.
Years ago, in order to check prices, you had to read the sale papers, or actually getting in the car and driving from store to store, wasting your day just to save a few dollars, if at all, by the time you factor in gas and your time. These days with websites to virtually anything at your disposal, you can look for any item and compare prices between a dozen sites in the matter of seconds, spending a few minutes completing the purchase instead of taking up your entire day for the best price. No matter what the purchase is, it’s always good to get the best price, and maybe that would help eliminate a few impulse purchases.
Start as Early as Possible
While we are already into December, you may want to note for next year to start saving and shopping as early as you can, taking advantage of more paychecks to put money aside, and more big sales to start stocking up on purchases. You should never pay full price for anything, so the more sales you have at your disposal, the more chance you get to save money buying for your loved ones, and maybe you even get to sneak in a few more gifts since you are saving more under your budget.