How to Budget for the Holiday Season
The holiday season can be a time of joy and family. Yet, this time still tends to come with a lot of stress and anxiety. The time of giving can be a time of overspending. Over 70% of Americans spend more than what they are able to afford during the holiday season. This percentage shows that we need to learn how to better budget for this time of year. Rather than going into it blindly, it’s important to make a plan. Here are some tips that can help you prepare for this holiday season.
Set your Budget
The first and most important tip is to set a budget. This will help you keep yourself in check the entire holiday season. It’s important that you account for all the expenses you plan to have, not just gifts. Many people tend to only think about the gifts when budgeting. However, there are many other things that need to be budgeted for. For example, you need to budget for food, travel, unpaid time off, and more.
Lost on where to even begin with creating a budget? Try looking at what you spent the year prior. If that number felt a little high, try knocking off a third of it. You can adjust your budget based on how you felt about your spending last year.
The sooner you start putting money aside for the holiday season, the better off you will be. It’s important to set your budget as early as January to make sure you are ready for the next season. You can begin by taking your budget and dividing it by the number of months ahead you are planning to save. For example, if you plan to start saving for the holidays in January, you have 11 months to save. This means you will divide your budget by 11 since there are 11 months until December. Starting early means you only have to save a small amount each month rather than scrambling for the total amount in October or November.
Break Budget Into Categories
Another tip is to organize your budget into separate categories. You can create a separate bank account for only the holiday season. This will allow you to see exactly how much you have saved. You can even go as far as creating separate bank accounts for different holiday spending categories like gifts, travel, and more. By creating a separate account, you are able to see how much you have available easily. This in turn helps you stop overspending. If you didn’t budget for something, it might not be smart to spend money on it.
Don’t Shop too Early
It can be tempting to get ahead on your holiday shopping. You might think you are doing yourself a favor by getting things done early. However, studies show that those who do their holiday shopping early are likely to spend more. This is because they tend to forget what they bought. When the deals come out in November, it’s tempting to make purchases, but you already have all your gift shopping done.
Get a Short-Term Loan
If you are short on cash and need money for the holidays, you can apply for a line of credit or an installment loan with Advance Financial. You will be able to get the cash you need and pay it off when you are able to.
To begin the approval process, click on “Get Cash Now” at the top of the page. Depending on your state, you will be offered an online line of credit or an online installment loan to get the cash you need. Fill out our quick and easy application form, and our team will be here to answer all your questions and offer a world-class customer experience throughout the process.