7 Ways to Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season
Ready, Set, Go … shopping! There is no question that the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can strain our wallets. Being a smart shopper can help you have a financially happy new year. It’s difficult to enjoy the holidays when you’re worried about money, so use our 7 holiday budgeting tips to take some of the stress out of the holiday season.
- Plan ahead. Before you start shopping, develop a realistic budget. Start with your income, subtract your normal monthly expenses, and then see how much cash you have left over. If you need to use your credit card, think about what you can afford to pay back in January.
- Keep track of other costs. Don’t forget costs beyond gifts, like postage, gift wrap, decorations, greeting cards, food, travel and charitable donations.
- Make a list and check it twice. Keep your gift list limited to family and close friends, figuring out how much you want to spend on each before you start shopping.
- Shop early, spend carefully. Avoid shopping while rushed or under pressure, which can lead to overspending. Make sure to comparison shop online first, or download an app that lets you compare prices before you buy anything in a store.
- Avoid traps. Finding a spectacular sale on something you’ve been wanting can easily throw you off course. Stay strong and stick to your budget. Also, it’s best to avoid opening store credit cards you don’t need just to get a one-time discount.
- Use credit wisely. Limit the use of credit cards for holiday spending. If you must use a credit card, use only one card, preferably the one with the lowest interest rate, and leave the rest at home. Pick a date when you can pay off your holiday credit card bills, and commit to paying off the balance by that time.
- Save your receipts. Not only will you need them for possible returns, you’ll need them to keep track of what you’ve spent and to compare with your credit card statement.
Here’s an easy way to start saving for next year’s holiday shopping: ChangeSaver!
ChangeSaver ™ helps you save money every time you spend money simply by using your Bell State Bank & Trust debit card. Once you’re enrolled in the FREE ChangeSaver program, we will automatically round up every debit card purchase you make to the next dollar, and then transfer that amount from your checking account to your Bell State Bank & Trust savings account. Or, you can make your savings grow even faster by instead choosing to add either $1 or $2 to your savings each time you use your debit card.
The more you use your debit card to make everyday purchases, the more you’ll save. And because we’re committed to helping you increase your savings, Bell State Bank & Trust will match 5% of your total savings round-ups – up to $250 a year!
Sign up for ChangeSaver and start saving!
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