Seven Steps to Financially Prepare Yourself for the Holidays
By: GreenPath Financial Wellness
With the holiday season approaching, now is the perfect time to review your money management practices and work towards a debt-free holiday. Here are seven quick tips that will help you financially prepare for the holidays, budget and tame your use of credit, when it comes to gift-giving, entertaining and more!
First and foremost, start budgeting now!
- Have a plan of how much you are going to allow yourself to spend and who you are going to spend it on. If you don’t have the money saved, think about a plan on how you will be able to save that money from now until then.
- Start looking for prices on what you want to buy, this will help you see how much these items cost and what is affordable for your budget. This is not just for gifts: consider food, entertainment, lodging, and travel.
- Thanksgiving is right around the corner. There is a good chance that your food or transportation expenses will go up, too, in the form of extra gas, food for extended family visiting and possible hotels, if you plan on doing the traveling.
- After Thanksgiving there are usually holiday parties. Don’t think you have to do it alone! Potluck, assign tasks (bring drinks, bags of ice, paper plates.)
Limit, or eliminate, the use of your credit cards. This can be particularly tough, but doable!
- Credit cards are great for convenience, but, unless you pay them off in full, your holidays just got a lot more expensive.
- Do you think about paying interest on food or gifts or transportation? With credit cards, you will have to pay that extra money per month.
- Try to make this a debt free Holiday Season. Work in cash and stick to your budget and leave the plastic cards at home!
Remember, the bottom line is to keep the holidays in perspective, take a deep breath, and enjoy the season!
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