‘Tis the season to start cutting – not just your tree, but your budget, too! By spending wisely, your holiday season doesn’t have to be a total budget-buster. Before you run to the mall or organize a big party, there are several ways you can keep your spending under control this holiday season.
Here are ten tips on how to make a holiday budget!
Return presents you’re not so thrilled with
After the holidays, many retailers unwind their general policies when it comes to returns. Like Amazon, this retailer lets you return anything they ship out between November 1st and December 31st until January 31st for a full refund, compared to their standard 30-day policy.
Other shops may have lenient returns year-round, knowing that most consumers hate the hassle and time suck of sending purchases back. But, if you lost your receipt, it’s going to be tough scoring actual cash for the item. Although it’s worth a shot, can get store credit or a gift card and sell that for real money.
Use your credit card perks
Use any points you've gained from making holiday purchases to help pay off the balances you've collected for those gifts. But if you notice that you never redeem your points, then you should think about switching to a cash-back card.
There are so many types of cash-back cards to choose from, so pick one that is right for you. It may be overwhelming to find, but a right starting place is a comparison chart of various cards, which evaluates your options based on your particular spending patterns.
It’s okay to do regifting
Don't feel guilty wrapping up that scented body lotion from your aunt and giving it to a co-worker on her birthday. There’s no stigma, and 83% of people agree that regifting is okay. Passing along gifts you don’t want won't put money in your pocket—but it lets you save what you have rather than spending it over for gifts this year.
If you want to do this tip, you can go into your stash of items and see what you can give to other people in the coming holidays. Before you wrap it up, ask yourself these things first: Is it something the receiver would genuinely appreciate? Is it brand new? Are you sure it isn’t monogrammed or engraved? Then you're good to go, and the person doesn't have to know you didn't pay for it.
Try to avoid (another) shopping sprees
Retailers are good at luring people to buy. Everything from display arrangement to lighting and music is designed to trigger impulse purchases. Researchers have dubbed this the “shopping momentum effect,” noting that you're more likely to keep spending once you've gotten started. You can prevent the phenomenon by sticking to your shopping list and leaving the store for a few minutes when you’re tempted to make off-list purchases.
Give yourself an allowance
Although it's not realistic to eliminate all spending, you can be purposeful about the money you spend. You should determine and set an amount of money you can afford on fun stuff each month. After that, you can now create one for bills and discretionary spending money.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the spending cycle and forget about budgeting for the holidays. Marketing campaigns are devised to make you open your wallet in the spirit of Christmas, so it’s hard not to fall prey. We hope that these tips will help you keep things under control. Also, if you want your home to feel like Christmas, hire a professional house cleaning service to get in the holiday spirits and help you concentrate on saving!