Gift buying, travel expenses, new clothes, and extra groceries for parties are just a few of the things that can add up quickly during the holidays – especially when procrastination comes into play. Holiday splurges are fun while they last but the financial aftermath can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, our experienced team of investment advisors has taken the time to compile a list of several steps that you can take to stay financially responsible during the holiday season.
1.Create (And Stick To) A Holiday Budget
Sticking to a budget is the best way to keep yourself out of debt – and to maximize savings and investment opportunities - during any time of the year. If you are not budgeting yet, the holiday season is an excellent time to start. It’s important to limit what you plan to purchase and to have a comprehensive idea of what you can honestly afford to spend.
Our team of experienced investment advisors is here to help. If you would like guidance and support in formulating a holiday budget, reach out to a member of our staff today. Setting limits might seem like a guaranteed buzzkill at first, but once it becomes a habit you will reap the immense rewards of not racking up credit and feeling stressed about how much you may or may not have overspent. Creating a budget is a great tool to ensure that your finances and long-term investment goals remain intact.
2. Make it About What Matters Most to You
It’s important to be realistic and prioritize the things that really mean the most to you over the holidays. Love spoiling your adorable nieces and nephews with lavish gifts? Go ahead and keep doing so but set a limit on what you will spend. If you need to, find another area to cut your expenses back. Maybe it could be the professional photography session for holiday cards to mail out or eliminating another costly holiday tradition you no longer enjoy.
If you are planning to support specific charities before the year is over, make sure you have established a budget and allocated the necessary funds accordingly. By setting aside money in advance, it will be easy to ensure that you can support any desired organizations without overextending your budget.
3. Take on a Seasonal Retail Job or Side Hustle
If you find that you’ve cut out as many extra expenses as you can and the figures in your budget still aren’t going to add up for the holidays, consider finding a seasonal retail job. Stores are always looking for extra employees over the holiday season, and that extra money can go a long way in boosting your holiday budget. Plus, depending what kind of employee discount the company doles out, you could end up cutting the costs of your Christmas shopping by taking advantage of any added perks.
If working in retail isn’t an ideal option, get creative and find another side hustle to earn some extra income. Deliver groceries for InstaCart or Shipt or a local delivery service in your area, drive for Lyft or Uber, make baked goods to sell, manage social media for small businesses, rent a spare room on Airbnb, sell items on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, or walk dogs. The options are endless. Whatever your interests or skills may be, you can find a way to leverage them for extra income.
4. Plan Ahead to Avoid Last-Minute Expenses
Start shopping for gifts early on so that you do not end up buying things in a frenzied panic. Have a plan for what you’d like to spend and shop around to compare prices not only for gifts but for holiday travel, clothes, and food. Look at prices online and compare before buying in order to get the best deal. Holiday sales are not the only way to save and searching for online promotions or coupons can be another great way to lower your overall holiday expenditures.
5. Organize Group Volunteering Instead of Gift Exchange Parties
Encourage your coworkers or a group of friends to forgo a holiday party in favor of a group volunteer event instead. Chances are, you’re not the only one who struggles with overspending during the holidays and giving people the relief of not having to buy more gifts can be a gift in itself. Volunteering is a way to offer help to people in need and feel good about devoting some time to a worthwhile cause. All while having fun and making positive memories together. Among its myriad of benefits, volunteering has been shown to reduce stress – and what better time to reduce stress than during the holidays?
6. Keep Those Holiday Lights in Check
If adorning your home in holiday lights is something you look forward to all year, by all means, keep up the great work because others will enjoy it too. On the other hand, if it is something you dread doing or do only to keep up with others in the neighborhood, give yourself permission to take a break this year. One way to make sure your holiday electricity bill isn’t a budget killer is to use timers, so that you can control how long your lights are on.
7. Save On Holiday Travel
Whether you’ll be visiting relatives or heading to a warm destination to ring in the new year, be sure to book flights and reservations early and use price tracking to guarantee that you’re getting the best deals. If possible, schedules flights for a Tuesday or Wednesday as they are the cheapest days to fly. (Sundays are typically the most expensive.) Using discount websites is another increasingly popular way to save on airfare – particularly if you combine travel into a package deal.
It’s easy to lose control with spending during the holidays but making a plan ahead of time will help to minimize debt while maximizing the time and money you do have. There are plenty of ways to avoid overspending and still enjoy this season of celebration.
Fiduciary Investment Advisors Near Me
During the holidays and all year long, your financial objectives are what drives our entire planning process at Triumph Capital. We want to get to know and understand your desires, and to develop and execute a strategy designed for your needs so that we can empower you to be at the forefront of your financial future.