Prevent a Holiday Spending Hangover with these Tips- December 2
As a consumer spreading holiday cheer, we should keep in mind that January bills are only a couple of months away. If we are not budgeting for holiday purchases, we may find ourselves bringing in the New Year with last year’s debt.
FTSB recommends that customers manage their finances this holiday season with the following spending tips:
- Create a budget and stick to it. Set a dollar amount based on what you can afford this holiday season considering your current savings, income and other expenses. Be sure to include a $20 to $100 cushion for unexpected expenses.
- Make a list. Write down the names of the people you plan to buy gifts for and how much you can afford to spend on each person. Don’t forget to save some of your budget for expenses other than gifts, including wrapping paper, cards and postage.
- Bake some cookies. That’s right, if you can’t afford to buy gifts for everyone on your list, bake some holiday goodies and wrap them in cellophane with a holiday bow. Handmade gifts are a special way to say ‘Happy Holidays’ without overspending. Be sure to include these costs in your budget.
- Use credit wisely. Your credit card balance shouldn’t be a complete surprise when you open your statement in January. Take only the credit cards you need when holiday shopping and try to use the card with the lowest interest rate.
- Save your receipts. Keep track of your expenses and add them up weekly to be sure you’re sticking to your budget. If you’re getting close to your spending limit, reevaluate your list and bake more cookies!
- Shop around. Start your holiday shopping early to give yourself time to comparison shop. Take time to do some research before you hit the stores by going online or looking at your local newspaper circulars.