The holidays unite families, enrich the kindred spirit within communities and give some a good excuse to put eggnog in everything. But the holiday season is also the most financially cumbersome.
Christmas is around the corner and you might be preparing to storm the retail gates on Black Friday. Before you go, there are some important money-saving techniques you should adopt to ensure you’ll have enough money for all your giving needs – and fixed monthly expenses. Let’s discuss some ways you can save more for the loved ones on your shopping list.
Budget, budget, budget. Keep in mind that you could be celebrating three different holidays in the span of a month and a half. Factor in the costs of everything you can imagine – from gifts, food, gas, and other travel expenses. Don’t forget about your fixed monthly bills. Unfortunately, those don’t disappear during the holiday season. Keep track of every single expense against your monthly income. The devil is in the details.
Try to avoid the Black Friday frenzy. In fact, now is the best time to do the majority of your shopping. Some stores begin their holiday sales at the beginning of November, giving you plenty of time to avoid the madness. Another important note: not every advertised sale is what it seems. Take the time to research the gifts you buy before you impulsively spend more than your budget allows.
Shop online. Many online retailers are passing their in-store savings to online customers during the holiday season. It may not sound better than a door-crasher on paper, but factor in the gas you’ll use with the inevitable dining out during your shopping spree and suddenly online shopping is the cheaper alternative. Plus, not too many malls allow you to shop in your pajamas near a cozy fire.
Build, Don't Buy. If you’re truly unsure what to buy someone, you can always make a gift from home. This is especially fun for the little ones looking to get involved with gift-giving festivities. Not to mention that some of the most genuine gifts are hand-crafted and not store-bought.
- Have some fun with cost-cutting activities. Spend some quality time with your family by playing holiday-themed board games. Build gingerbread houses or get creative with a fun and unique activity for the whole family.
While your heart and mind may be set on providing the best holiday experience for those around you, remember to pay extra attention to your budget this time of year. NASB is here to help with all of your unique banking and mortgage needs – especially as you prepare to ring in 2020 with your friends and family.