Last updated on October 25th, 2022 at 01:18 pm
With the winter holidays around the corner, the season of spending is almost here. The added costs of entertaining and gift-giving may be a challenge to take on, forcing you to stretch your already tight budget to its breaking point.
If you’re worried about the effects the holidays may have on your budget, check out these money management tips. These are some simple ways to protect your finances during the season of giving.
Money Management Tips for Holiday Savings
1. Check Your Credit
When was the last time you checked your credit report? If you’re like 34 percent of Americans, the answer is never. In which case, it’s time to take a peek. If you don’t, you may have no idea there’s a black mark on your file. You’ll assume everything is okay until your application for a new credit card is rejected.
Checking your credit regularly helps you spot these problems, so you understand the kinds of financial products you qualify for. If there isn’t time to make an impact on your history before you apply for help, don’t panic. If your credit card application was rejected, you may apply for a bad credit personal line of credit. This way, you won’t waste any time chasing after products you can’t get. More importantly, you won’t be waking up with a rejection notice as the proverbial lump of coal in your stocking this year.
2. Leave Your Credit Cards Out of the Equation
When faced with a big holiday shopping bill, you may look to credit cards for help. At first, tapping into your credit cards may seem easier than cutting back on the festivities. But the long-term consequences of overspending are much harder to deal with than sacrificing a few gifts.
Eventually, you’ll have to repay what you spend — plus possible interest, finance charges, and other fees. More importantly, shopping shouldn’t be what credit cards are used for. They should be reserved as a backup when an unexpected emergency or large purchase outweighs your savings.
3. Set a Budget
One of the best money management tips for the holidays is to set a budget. That way you can avoid drawing against your line of credit or credit card is by setting a spending limit on the holidays. Spend some time looking at your budget, tracking your expenses, and comparing them to your income. This gives you a good sense of the cash you have on hand to spend.
If it’s a tight budget, consider re-evaluating your current expenses. Can you do without your meals out? Can you cut down on your entertainment spending? If so, you may free up more cash to spend on the festivities.
4. Host Your Family’s Big Dinner
With millions of Americans traveling for the holidays, fares for flights, train tickets, and even rental cars will be on the rise. Round trip airfare alone may set you back hundreds of dollars depending on when you buy! By comparison, a big dinner similar to what you have on Thanksgiving can cost $100 on average. That’s a big savings if you can convince your family to make it your way this holiday season.
You don’t have to swear off all the festivities to protect your budget this holiday. You can make merry without the financial hangover by thinking through your options carefully and implementing some of these simple money management tips. Even the small decision of where you’ll celebrate can make a huge impact on your finances!
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