It’s that time of the year again and the holidays are almost around the corner. While we prepare ourselves for the joy and celebrations of the holidays, we also have to prepare our finances to get through this season unscathed.
Holidays are the time that most of us overspend. There is the pressure to visit family, give gifts, decorate your home and so on. A study conducted by Nerdwallet which analysed spending and behaviour trends of more than 2000 Americans found that 56% of those who shopped last year had incurred credit card debt. And, of them nearly a quarter of them are yet to pay this debt off.
Almost 74% of those who travelled during the holidays were found to have returned to more than $1100 of debt, according to another 2017 survey. So how do we then keep a tab on such holiday expenses and save money despite these pressures and temptations?
We decided to get help from the best in the business. So here are top 6 saving tips for this holiday season from top 6 personal finance experts.
Get A Holiday Budget
Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers
One of the best ways to save money this holiday season is to set a budget for all of the various spending categories during Christmas and Thanksgiving. The total amount you earmark should be something that your bank account can handle so you don’t run the risk of racking up credit card debt. Put some thought into it and be detailed. For example, you should have budgets for entertainment, gift giving, travel, and year-end gratuities to folks you want to thank. But more specifically, your gift giving budget should be broken down by recipient rather than just one lump sum total. For example, you’re not going to spend as much money on a gift for your babysitter as you will your spouse. But overall, by taking a more organizational approach to spending over the holidays, you’ll be sure to save money and kick off the new year without a mountain of bills.
Read more such tips from Andrew and Money Crashers on their blog.
Break Down Your Gift Budget And Stick To It
Sean Bryant, One Smart Dollar
Always stick to your budget around the holidays. If you budget $50 per person for gifts, make sure that’s what you spend. If you break your budget on one person and spend $60, the urge will be there to match that amount for everyone. Before you know it, you have blown your budget right out of the water.
Make The Most Of Reward Points
Esther Goh, NZ Muse
My top tip would be, make the most of rewards points. If you’re anything like me you’ve built up a bunch of credit card points and rewards from online surveys or other loyalty schemes – time to cash out!
Be Flexible While Booking Holiday Travel
Yasmin Ghahremani, Wise Bread‘s Senior Editor
“If you’re booking last minute holiday travel, be flexible. Traveling right before or after Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve may be your cheapest option. And if you’re just looking to get away someplace warm, compare deals for multiple destinations. Tools like Hopper and Skyscanner are a great help.”
Remember The Real Spirit Of The Holidays
Jessica Moorhouse, JessicaMoorhouse.com
“Take a moment to remember what the holidays are really about — community, family & friends, and giving back. All things you can’t buy with a credit card, so put it back in your wallet.”
Ditch The Gifts
Melanie Lockert, founder of DearDebt.com
Ditch the gifts and give ‘coupons’ that can be redeemed for things like cooking, cleaning, babysitting, etc. I think it’s thoughtful, fun, and saves a ton of money!
Over To You
What is your number one tip to save during this holiday season. Share your ideas with us in the comments section below. And, have a happy and stress-free holiday season!!