The Christmas season is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. Although, it can also be one of the most stressful. If you are struggling to make ends meet, finding ways to buy gifts can seem like an impossible feat. To overcome this challenge, you need a plan, and you need to start early in the year. By following some tried and true tips throughout the year, you can provide your kids with a memorable Christmas without feeling a big burden on your budget.
Know What it’s Going to Cost
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to Christmas shopping is not setting a budget. Spending during this time of year can quickly get out of control if you aren’t careful and mindful. You don’t want to find yourself in January with maxed-out credit cards or not enough money to pay your regular bills. Establishing a budget will help to avoid this problem. In the months leading up to Christmas, decide how much you will spend on each child and how much you will spend in all. Make a list of your children’s needs and a few wants.
Open or Use a Savings Account
It’s one thing to have a goal of saving money and a whole different matter to actually do it. Setting up a savings account is a handy way to achieve this goal. When Christmastime comes around, you can draw from that account for your Christmas needs. Look for high-yield accounts with no fees. You can also use an existing account and put in a set amount every paycheck.
Save Money on Other Expenses
A good way to have more cash in December for Christmas presents and activities is to spend less on other things throughout the year. Some expenses, such as your house payment or car amortization, are fixed, so there isn’t a lot you can do to reduce those costs. But there are other places where you can slash your bills. Consider what you can cut back on, such as eating out. You can also cancel memberships and subscriptions. Consider using coupons or buying less expensive brands of clothing or groceries. As the weeks and months roll by, you may be surprised by how much you have saved.
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Save Cash-back Rewards and Gift Cards for Christmas
It’s always fun to win or earn a gift card or to redeem cash-back rewards from credit cards. It’s tempting to use these right away or for birthdays and other events. Instead, keep these on the back-burner until Christmas. You could have a few hundred dollars’ worth to tap into.
Don’t let the Christmas season overwhelm you and your finances. Look at this list and implement these steps today. You will be glad you did once the holiday season arrives.