Fast Money Blog
Enjoy Your Holidays Even More When You End the Year on Solid Financial Footing
Holidays are a time for family. A time for fun. And for many, a time to run up their credit cards. But putting a stop to holiday debt doesn’t mean putting a stop to the festivities. With a little care, staying within your budget can lead to the best Christmas ever. At Pinnacle Bank, we want you to enjoy a holiday season filled with happiness and cheer.
Here are our tips to getting the most from the season while still saving for the future.
1. Create a Holiday Budget
Start by taking into account all your regular expenses. Then create a specific budget for the holidays. If the amount seems low, you can always try to cut back on some regular expenses to make room for extra spending. Once you know your budget, you can create your gift list.
2. Make a List and Stick to It
It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of holiday shopping. Your gift list is your secret weapon for holiday success. Gift list building can be a fun activity the whole family takes part in. Start by making the list of people you will buy gifts for. Then gather any wish lists from family, and make a list of what you plan to get each person. Make sure your entire list fits your budget. Once it’s made, stick to it. If you want to allow room for finding that perfect gift, feel free to make line items like “A special gift that’s $50 or less.” then you’re free to buy anything that fits that description.
3. Use Sales the Right Way
Here’s the problem with sales, they usually cost people more money not less. If sales cost retailers money, they would stop having them. Sales work because they get people to buy things that they otherwise wouldn’t. But sales work to your advantage if you decide what you are going to buy first, then go look for the best prices.
4. Save Your Bonus
If you are lucky enough to get a holiday bonus, save it. Think of it as the gift you give yourself and your family for the future. Most gifts you get or give will make you feel happy for a short period of time. But financial stability is a good feeling that lasts.
5. Turn Gift Making into a Family Project
When you turn gift making into a family activity, it can become a holiday tradition you will cherish. Here are some ideas to get you started. If you grow an herb garden, dry the herbs and create special holiday blends. Make homemade candy or baked goods. Give your friends a free date night while you offer to babysit.
6. Have Potluck Holiday Dinners
Holiday dinners can be expensive. And when you do all the cooking, you end up stressed and exhausted by the time everyone arrives. When you have a potluck, everyone, including the host, gets to have a good time that’s also affordable.
The big takeaway from all these tips is to plan ahead. The holidays are full of sales, deals and temptations to break your budget. When you make a plan and stick to it, you can spread the cheer without growing your debt.
Need to open a savings account to sock away some of those holiday savings?
Talk to Pinnacle Bank for all your banking needs.