Thanksgiving is almost upon us, which means the holiday festivities are right around the corner. For many people, that means holiday and bargain shopping is next on their priority list—especially during Black Friday, one of the most important retail events in the United States after Thanksgiving.
But, how is one able to budget your finances during the season of giving?
At TPI Group, we understand the stress of budgeting during the holiday season. These five financial tips will help you achieve your shopping goals without breaking your wallet:
#1: Resist Giving in to Temptation
Let’s be honest with ourselves: we all have guilty pleasures. Whether it’s buying your morning pick-me-up at Starbucks, grabbing your favorite lunch at the nearest restaurant, or getting the latest in-season outfit for your wardrobe, the art of spending on yourself is a rewarding and comforting act. However, when you’re saving money for the holidays, small regular indulgences can add up without realizing.
Consider these money-saving options in the weeks leading up to the holidays:
- Brew your morning java at home instead of heading to your favorite coffee shop
- Cook and prepare your lunch the night before instead of going out
- Browse the local thrift store for clothes and footwear instead of going to the shopping mall
Commit to giving up your indulgences for a short while, and you’ll notice how much money you’ll save. These financial sacrifices during the holiday season will have positive long-term effects on your budget and may end some of your daily spending habits.
#2: Switch Your Cards for Hard-Earned Cash
This financial tip may seem old-fashioned, but hear us out: using cash over your credit/debit card is a wise finance option—especially if you’re likely to overspend or have a history of financial debt.
Withdraw a certain amount of money from your bank account and set aside a predetermined portion for each gift recipient. Consider labeling envelopes with each person’s name or keep a list to help you track your holiday spending.
By following through with this method, it will be impossible to overspend, and you’ll see where and how much you’re spending.
#3: Make a Budget and Check it Twice
Budgeting is a wise financial strategy that helps you gain better control of your overall spending. By setting a limit, you will be more inclined to spend within your means without the risk of overspending.
To help you determine your holiday budget, consider your current financial situation and be realistic about the amount you can afford to spend. Afterward, set a price limit per person. This will help you stay on track of your spending and determine the perfect holiday gift for each recipient.
Stick to your budget, and you’ll ease your financial woes before they begin!
#4: Start Your Shopping Spree Early
Starting your holiday shopping weeks in advance may seem like an absurd idea, but you can save lots of money by getting an early start. Retailers tend to discount merchandise several weeks before the holiday shopping season, so you’re guaranteed to snag a few bargains during this period.
For those who prefer buying online, you have the luxury of being in the comfort of your home while going on a virtual shopping spree. Many stores have only online promotions or regularly email promotional offers to subscribers, so you can put those savings to use while lounging in a relaxed environment.
By starting early, you also avoid the holiday rush, which is often paired with the risk of stores running out of the items you want.
#5: Consider Doing it Yourself
If you’re on a limited budget, consider making homemade gifts to wow your recipients. Not only is this type of gift sentimental and personal, but it’s also incredibly thoughtful as you tailor the gift to your receiver’s likes and preferences.
Even if arts and crafts or DIY projects aren’t your forte, it’s never too late to learn a new skill or discover a hobby. A homemade gift can be as simple or extravagant as you want it to be. Whatever you choose, your recipient is guaranteed to love it as it’s a thoughtful, unique gift made with your own two hands!
TPI Group is one of the largest independent accounting and financial advisory firms in Northern Virginia. Our highly-skilled team of accountants, financial advisers, and tax attorneys surpass clients’ accounting and financial needs. For more financial saving tips and guidelines, contact us today using our online form.