Can you believe how close the holidays are? Thanksgiving is around the corner, bringing with it those Black Friday deals and then those oh so sweet Christmas sales throughout December! And then just when we think we’re going to catch a break, the new year arrives after not leaving us much time to get ahead and save for it financially. For those who have not saved up throughout the year, you still have a few weeks to go and we don’t want you to feel left out.
If you don’t focus your mind and put your finances in order now, you risk potential stress after the holidays. You don’t want to end up starting the year off with a ton of debt and you certainly don’t want to skip bills for material gain. In order to live and be comfortable during and after the holiday season, I’ve provided a few tips for the creative person. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or just on a budget these tips are sure to provide your wallet some saving.
1. Plan accordingly
Often, we see SALES and go crazy. Plan out your desires before the holiday sale season starts. Create a list and know what you’re looking for. Have specific items to buy and what stores you’ll go to planned out before you shop. Find out what those stores are offering before you venture out to go shopping.
2. Give yourself a budget for each item
A large pot of money goes fast when you don’t have a clear agenda on how you’re going to spend it. Be sure to take your money and make it work for you.
3. Start putting funds aside now!
I can’t stress this enough. Since there aren’t many pay cycles left before the end of November, it’s critical to move half your budgeted amount aside while you’re able to. If you’ve gotten a late start on saving, remember, there will be plenty of sales. Why go broke on Black Friday when you can still benefit from Cyber Monday, before Christmas, and New Year’s sales? They will come and you won’t miss out.
4. Pay all the bills you can at the beginning of the month
If you can’t afford to pay them in full then pay the minimum so you’re not strapped for cash after all your shopping is done.
5. Stick to your plan
We tend to travel and shop in groups; don’t deviate if you see your friends and/or family shopping away! Remember, everyone’s thinking and financial situation is different.
6. Lastly, do your homework on what you desire
Is this the time to utilize credit? Should you be cash heavy? Are the items you want absolutely cheaper now or just on sale at a slight savings? Sometimes there are items that are simply marked up just to be discounted down. Pay attention to the marked items now and determine if it’s a good deal or not.
No matter what you decide to do, be sure to enjoy your family time. The holidays are certainly about more than sales. Be wise this holiday season and be sure to count all the costs.