Plan Your Presents Now to Decrease Holiday Debt
While soaking in the sun and relaxing by the pool, Christmas might be the last thing on your mind. However, if you start planning now, you can easily get ahead of the rush, save money and prepare your finances for the holiday season. In that spirit, we’ve collected some tips and tricks to help you build an effective plan of attack for the end-of-year festivities.
Begin Your Budget
Nothing is more frustrating than feeling like you’re on track for your monthly budget, only to be set back by a major holiday. Thinking about your upcoming expenses gives you more time to plan, save and spread out your shopping over multiple months. This also gives you some padding on the miscellaneous items you may have forgotten, like Christmas cards, broken ornaments or burnt out bulbs. Along with planning, you can start to cut back on unnecessary purchases that might tempt you in the months leading up to the biggest shopping season of the year.
Make a List (And Check it Twice)
Oftentimes, presents are your biggest expenses during the holiday season. That’s why we recommend making a list of the people you know you’ll be buying gifts for. This allows you to brainstorm gift ideas and do your best to estimate the amount you’ll be spending on those important people. Evaluate the total cost and see how much money, if any, is left in your initial budget. Evaluating your expenses early on will help you gauge whether you’re spending too much or too little on each person. Once you have your list finished, leave some breathing room for the stragglers we all tend to forget. But don’t worry, we have a tip for that too, so keep reading!
Take Advantage of the Summer Sales
At this point, you’ll have a pretty good idea of your holiday expenses. You’ve also got a budget and a gift list in place. But what about all those party presents and white elephant gifts that pop up at the last minute? Here’s where your planning will start to pay off. Instead of leaving yourself exposed to holiday markups, you can take your time, while taking advantage of the summer sales. With Christmas in July and Labor Day sales, you can do your Black Friday shopping now without having to miss Thanksgiving dinner in the process. Buying generic gifts in bulk while the sales are ripe will allow you to stock up on a nice housewarming, hostess or office Secret Santa gifts too. As great gifts go on sale, buy several and you’ll never have to worry about those last-minute invites.
Increase Your Holiday Cash
The best part of Christmas in July (minus the savings) is that it’s stress-free! Shopping during the summer eliminates the rush to think of great gift ideas or spend too much all at once. While planning this far in advance may seem counterintuitive, it could significantly help decrease stress and financial issues during the holiday season.
Of course, if you need a little cash to take advantage of these savings, we’re always here to help. Visit us at heightsfinance.com or stop by your friendly neighborhood branch and see if you’re eligible for a personal loan. At the end of the day, thinking ahead is always worth the time. So, in between visits to the pool and trips to the park, make some time for holiday planning. Trust us, you’ll be thanking yourself come December.