Looking forward to the holidays? Spending more quality time with loved ones, being able to have a little time away from work, and hopefully returning home to be thankful and joyous. Unfortunately, the holidays can get quite stressful for a lot of reasons, especially if you don’t have a plan. Money is tight, gifts, travel and time off are all costly. Speak with your financial advisors and come up with a plan to help make the holidays the best they can be.
Below are 5 tips to help you gain a good understanding of modern holiday budgeting. They will also encourage more bonding time with loved ones and less frantic stress that these times so often provoke. Creativity in budgeting is everything, so take a look at these powerful hacks that will help you spend wisely in preparation for the holidays:
1) Shop A Month Ahead For Gifts and Groceries
Holidays are usually peak season for shops and supermarkets, so the demand for more items is higher compared to regular days. You can save more of your holiday budget by shopping ahead. Yes, shopping ahead at least 2 weeks and up to a full month can save you money, and stress on gifts and groceries. If you are shopping food, plan your recipes and make your schedule so that anything bought ahead of the party keeps well and stays fresh. This is especially a good idea if new utensils, decorations, or kitchen items are needed your holiday gathering.
2) Make a List Before Purchasing
Creating a list and determining the cost of items beforehand lets you maximize your budget. Focus on the important items first and leave out ones that are optional, or could be easily purchased at a later date. Having a list also lets you price compare. If you know what you need to buy you’ll be able to shop around and find the best price for each item on your list, minimizing spending. When you’re grocery shopping for your holiday parties, remember to check your pantry and fridge so as not to buy items you already have.
3) Watch for Sales and Discounts
Take advantage of sales on days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Whether you’re looking for gifts for the holidays or necessary items to throw your holiday party with. These discounted shopping days can really help you stay on budget, but don’t go blind shopping. Have a list of what you need or what others are asking for. Because when you just go shopping for the sake of shopping, the budget will inevitable get blown.
Don’t stress yourself out so much that you end up making impulse purchases in order to de-stress. Delegate holiday preparations to your family or friends that are coming over, to keep things balanced. If you start preparation with a plan, you’ll be able to maintain an even keel and with some help from the others, you holiday will go more smoothly!
Enjoy the fruit of your labor and share it with loved ones. This is the most important formula for a worthwhile holiday. Although some things may not turn out as we planned, time with loved ones is probably the most priceless time spent in your lifetime.
Holiday budget tips will only work when you follow them step by step. The same plan does not always work for every person, but you can always tweak these holiday budget tips to suit your needs.