Each year, the holiday season is bubbling with excitement. It’s easy to let this joy take over everything – even our wallets! However, it’s important to ensure your finances are still intact for the new year. Setting and following a budget can help you get the most out of your holiday season without breaking the bank. To help you get started, we’ve put together some tips for holiday shopping while on a budget:
Set a Budget
The first step to sticking to a budget is setting one in the first place. When creating a budget, you want to find the right balance between strict and realistic. Here are our tips for setting the right budget amount:
- List out your expense categories. Things like holiday decorations, a Christmas tree, baked goods, and gifts are all different expense categories. Jot down everything you plan to spend money on.
- Assign a dollar amount to each category. Go through each category and determine how much you think it will cost. During this step, you could price-check specific items to get a more accurate number.
- Compare the total to your ideal spending limit. Tally up the dollar amount from each category. If the total is higher than what you want to spend for the holidays, then go back through your categories and try to find ways to reduce expenses.
Pre-Plan Your Purchases
Last-minute shopping sprees might be fun, but they’re a great way to get caught up in the excitement and accidentally blow a lot of money. Carefully pre-planning all of your holiday shopping can help you find the best deals and avoid making unnecessary purchases.
Compare Prices Online
Thanks to the Internet, you can very easily compare prices to get the best deal. Just a quick search on your smartphone can help you find the best price while shopping in stores or online. While comparing prices online, always stick to trusted retailers and don’t forget to factor in the cost of shipping.
Look For Online Coupons
Coupons can save you a lot of money, and they often aren’t too difficult to find or use. Since a lot of retailers offer great deals near the holidays, a quick Internet search for coupons could be an easy way to lower your expenses and save some money.
Consider Making Gifts
If you’re crafty, a handmade and personalized gift could be a great way to show your love while staying within budget. Baked goods, painted ornaments, crocheted hats, and other unique items can easily become a meaningful and relatively inexpensive gift.
Regularly Revisit Your Budget
To ensure you are staying within your budget, regularly review your purchases and tally up your expenses (a spreadsheet can make this step quick and easy). By keeping a close eye on the amount you’ve spent, you’ll be able to tell if you’re on track to stay within budget.
Holiday Shopping on a Budget in Vancouver WA
5 Local Branches Serving Greater Vancouver WA: