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Budgeting for the Holidays

Everyone knows that it can be easy to go all out when it comes to the holidays. Unfortunately, this often means that you end up saddled with a bunch of holiday debt. To avoid a sleigh-size tab, plan ahead to save money and maximize the payoff! To help you make the most of the holiday season, I have put together a few tips for you:

1. Order Online – Most people already order online to avoid getting stuck in the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. However, before you do any transactions ensure that you are ordering from a secure and trusted source. Any websites that provide order tracking will also save you stress as you can keep an eye on your package and know when it will arrive!

2. Be Thrifty – Start early and keep an eye out for special sales! Many retailers have Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, which can help you get a jumpstart on holiday shopping. Get inspired with coupons and get into the routine of flipping through flyers delivered to your home and online to get the most out of your money.

3. Trust Your Budget – Your budget keeps you on track during the rest of the year, so why not lean on it now? Starting the season with a plan and a maximum spending limit will help alleviate stress while shopping. There are plenty of free budget-tracking apps that connect right to your bank accounts and can be pulled out of your pocket for reference at any time – especially when you are feeling overwhelmed at the mall.

4. Get Crafty – Everyone appreciates the handmade touch in a gift, and DIY-ing this holiday can help you save money. There are wonderful options that can be found online, even for beginners. Examples include homemade wreaths, body scrubs, and fun photo scrapbooks that can be done alone or in a group, and you will end up with a gift that money can’t buy. If you are not sure where to find these clever and cost-effective ideas, Pinterest is a great place to start.

5. Give the Gift of Time – Instead of buying gifts, spend quality time with your friends and family while you give back to others, even if it is with a video call now with Covid-19. Sharing the experience and splitting the cost of hosting a dinner for a family in need will offset the cost of spending money on each person and double the amount of joy spread during the holidays. It feels good to pay in kind.

Whatever you choose to spend this holiday season, remember that the holidays are not solely about the gifts. The holidays are a time for celebration and creating memories; not for going into debt. This year make the most of the incredible holiday season YOUR way – within your own limits – and enjoy how much more affordable and less stressful it can be.

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