Tips for Preparing Your Finances for the Holidays
03 Feb, 2017 / By Jennifer Hamilton
Black Friday is the official commencement of the crazy shopping frenzy, and if you are one of the millions who like to participate in the shopping madness during that time, as well as the weeks following then you should be aware of some tips to follow to have a stress free holiday season. As the holidays fast approach, it is all too common to go all out on the spending. However, this can lead to a strain on your finances. Instead, follow these five financial tips in preparing your finances and have a stress free and great holiday season.
Create a List
One of the most important things to do in any type of financial situation is to create a list. When it comes to your holiday shopping, it’s important to look ahead and know exactly what you want to buy. From decorations to presents to food, consider all of your potential purchases. Create a list, and then stick to it. It can be extremely easy to buy impulsively during the holidays. In order to limit your compulsive spending, a list is a great tool. On top of this, you can find great sale items by identifying them on your list.
Plan For The Sales
Once you’ve established a list you can then begin to plan your shopping outline and buy things when you see that they’ve gone on sale. It’s a good idea to compare your shopping list with any sales flyers that you come across as well as promotions. It’s also recommended that you look online for special sales and pricing. This will allow you to save a substantial amount of money on all your holiday purchases and put way less stress on you and your bank account.
Use a Reward Credit Card
You can lower some of the costs of the holidays by using a rewards credit card in order to make purchases. Some credit cards even allow you the special chance of earning extra points around the holidays. You may receive bonus rewards for purchasing toys or for buying groceries. Find out the promotions that can help maximize the rewards you earn. In fact, you could receive some of your holiday buys for free if you are savvy enough about using your credit card.
Create a Plan to Pay Off Purchases
You will need a solid plan in order to pay off all the purchases you make during the holiday season; this is especially the case if you use a rewards credit card. Keep in mind that using a rewards credit card is not an excuse to spend more money than you should. Instead, only spend the money that you planned so that you can pay off your credit cards as soon as possible. It is recommended that you even try to pay off your credit card bill immediately if possible so that you won’t have to pay any interest. However, if you end up with a balance, ensure that you can pay it off in no more than two months, as high interest often offsets the value that you gain from a rewards credit card.
Start Getting Ready for the Following Year
If you really want to be prepared for the holidays then you can use the entire year in order to prepare. This will help create the least amount of stress possible on your budget. By setting aside some money every month into a holiday fund, you can have an entirely stress free holiday season. It is recommended that you put this holiday fund into a high yield account in order to gain the most return.