The holidays are no friend to your budget. Demanding your most generous spirit, they push and prod until you’ve spent all your savings on the festivities — and then some! The average shopper racks up more than $1,000 in debt by trying to curate the perfect holiday experience for their families. It’s easy to do. But, unlike Christmas carols, mistletoe, and eggnog, debt isn’t an inevitable addition to the season. You can keep your budget on track by using these five money-saving techniques this holiday.
- Make a budget
Without a budget, you’ll never know how much you can afford to spend on the holidays. Without a budget, you could easily use up the cash that you’re supposed to use on other responsibilities. There are solutions to these financial emergencies if you fall short on important bills. You can cover things like medical bills, essential household repairs, and other unavoidable costs with an online payday loan.
Things happen. Your furnace can stop working in December after you’ve already bought all the gifts for Christmas morning and all the food for Christmas dinner. If you live in a place like Ontario, where the winter chill arrives as early as October, you can’t expect your family to live safely without a furnace in December.
They look for the best payday loans Ontario has to offer so they can cover essential repairs. Take a tip from these cold climate families to get a payday loan online for your local emergencies.
Lenders like GoDay make it easy for homeowners to find a solution quickly, but these loans are designed or emergencies only. They aren’t meant to supplement your shopping budget, so you can spoil your kids. For that, you need to budget and find savings. These money-saving tips can help you free up cash in your usual budget. You can put it towards the holidays and a nest egg — which can help you face emergencies in the future.
- Use a list
Santa uses a list, and there’s a good reason for it, too. It’s so he can keep track of 22 million children on his list each year.
Though your list will be significantly smaller, it’s still an organizational tool that will keep you on the right course. It focuses your energy and money on things you need, so you can avoid impulse splurges you see in the meantime.
A list is at its most effective when you create it with your budget nearby. Search for gifts that fit both your spending limits and your family’s wish lists. That way you can splurge without spoiling your budget.
- Stop the shopping momentum
A toddler allowed to wallow in their tantrum is hard to soothe once the tears start. Your shopping is similarly hard to stop once you’ve swiped your debit a few times. Momentum is a force that affects any moving object on Earth, and your Christmas shopping is no different.
The shopping momentum effect was coined by psychologists when describing how easy it is to keep shopping once you’ve made the first purchase. Your plan to save your money last only so long until you exchange money. After that, you’re subconsciously used to the idea of handing over your money for the things on your list—even if you don’t need them.
The shopping momentum is exactly why retailers put baskets of small items near the cash. Since you already have an armful of clothes or beauty products, you think there’s no harm in adding a few smaller things. You’re already spending money, right? True, but these little things add up and can waste your holiday budget on things that don’t matter.
What matters during the holidays is the time you spend with the people you love. It’s natural to want to spoil your friends and family, but don’t do it at a detriment to your finances. You don’t want to wake up in the new year sporting a holiday debt hangover. Save yourself the headache by shopping well and focusing on what really matters.