Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tips to Control Your Holiday Spending

The holidays are upon us, so it’s a great time to get a handle on how much you plan on spending. Between gift giving, holiday treats, and parties it’s easy to lose track of how much you are actually spending. Here are some tips to keep your finances in control.

Set a Budget 
Start by creating a budget that works with your plan and your wallet. Write a list of all the people you want to buy for and set a dollar amount for each person. Don’t forget smaller items such as stocking stuffers. If you think you will overspend with credit cards alone, consider using cash to stay within your budget.

Be Selective 
Once you have purchased a gift for someone, cross them off your list. You don’t have to buy for everyone you know! If your shopping list includes more than five people outside of your immediate family, cut down on the number of people on your present list. You can bake some cookies or make a small craft to give to others not on your original list.

Factor in Extras 
Beware of hidden holiday costs. Gift wrap and tags, holiday cards, wrapping supplies, taxes, and shipping costs all add to the price of your gifts.

Don’t Forget the Coupons 
Sales aren't the only way to get great deals on the gifts you want for your friends or family. Before you shop online, perform a quick web search for coupon codes for your favorite online stores. Before you shop in local stores, comb through the coupons you received in your mailbox before hitting the mall. While you search through the flyers, make sure to comparison shop for the item you're interested in.

Plan Ahead for Next Year 
Once this holiday season winds down, plan ahead for next year! Putting money aside each month will result in you having everything you need in time for next year’s festivities. A great way to do this is with a Holiday Savings Account from Community Financial. It’s only $5 to open, has no fees, and is a great way to establish your holiday spending goals for next year.

Want to start budgeting but unsure where to start? Why not try out our Money Matter$ eLearning Center? These free and self-paced modules cover key financial concepts like budgeting, saving, investing, and raising your credit score. Using these resources and helpful tips can help reduce stress for this season and beyond. Happy Shopping!

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