Wow! Can you believe how close the holidays are? Thanksgiving is around the corner bringing us the beloved black Friday deals and oh so sweet Christmas sales! Just when we think we’re catching a break, the New Year approaches swiftly after not leaving us much time to get ahead and save financially. For those that have not saved up throughout the year to partake, you still have some time and we don’t want you to feel left out. If you don’t set your mind and finances now, you risk potential stress after the holiday. 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 excursions, I’ve provided a few tips for the creative. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or just on a budget these tips are sure to provide some flexibility.
- Plan accordingly. Often, we see SALES and go crazy. Plan out your desires before sale season opens up. Create a list and know what you’re looking for. Have specific items and stores planned before you shop. Find out what those stores are offering before the shopping day.
- Give yourself a budget for each item. Having a large pot of money goes fast without a direction to spend it in. Be sure to take your money and make it work for you.
- Start putting aside funds now! I can’t express that enough! Since there aren’t many pay cycles left before the end of November, it’s critical to move half of your budgeted amount aside while your able to. If you’ve gotten a late start on saving, remember, there will be plenty of sales. Don’t go broke for Black Friday when you can still benefit from before Christmas, after Christmas, New Year, and cyber Monday sales. They will come and you won’t miss out.
- Pay all the bills you can at the beginning of the month. If you can’t afford to pay them all – pay half or the minimum payments so that you’re not strapped for cash after all your shopping is done.
- Stick to your plan. We tend to travel and shop in groups – don’t deviate while your other friends/family are shopping away! Remember, everyone’s thinking and financial situation is different.
- 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 an additional savings? Sometimes there are items that are simply marked up just to be discounted down. Pay attention to the marketed 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 cost.