Jiminy Christmas! You mean to tell me Christmas is almost here?! Why, yes…I too couldn’t believe it as I realized Thanksgiving is just a mere one week away. Time to hop on that sleigh and let’s take a ride. In this short & sweet post we’re going to cover 5 tips for jingle bellin’ on a budget.
According to Market Watch consumers in the U.S. say they will spend an average of $781 this Christmas.
In some terms – that may be our total expendable income after bills in a month, close to 2 or 3 car payments, roughly 174 medium sized coffee drinks, 7 or more concerts, or even a round trip flight across the country and back. No matter how you choose to look at it, that’s a hefty chunk of money. Let’s explore 5 tips on how you can make the most out of your holiday season jingle bellin’ on a budget, while still coming out on top to conquer those New Years resolutions feeling vivacious (and not financially defeated):
1. Create a new gift giving tradition with friends & family
Brainstorm the possibility of a ‘Secret Santa’ or ‘White Elephant’ gift exchange with friends and/or family. This encourages creativity and togetherness. You can also establish a spending limit, so each person is held to the same rule (you will also know what to expect dollar amount wise, so you can plan ahead). This eliminates having to purchase several gifts for one another. Even if you wanted to give someone else a gift that you didn’t get as a ‘Secret Santa,’ you could surprise them on another month with one when they least expect it!
2. Take advantage of cash back rewards while shopping with your credit card
Several credit cards offer 1-10% cash back incentives on purchases during the holiday season. Create your budget of what you can afford and only spend that dollar amount purchase on your credit card. That way you can feasibly pay off the amount, and get rewarded for it! That’s earning money on the holiday shopping you were already planning to do…that’s a killer deal. For the last two years I’ve used my Chase Freedom credit card to receive extra cash back boosts for my holiday shopping & I am beyond thrilled with the offers and rewards (more to come with future posts on credit cards & incentives later).
3. Get inspired & crafty with it
4. Start your online research now
Several stores are already offering free shipping & discounts with offer codes. It’s almost as if ‘Cyber Monday’ has become ‘Cyber month of November & December’ instead. Starting early (and not procrastinating) will reap huge benefits and cash breaks. A useful app to cross compare & gather all your wish list items and purchases in one spot? Try downloading the mobile app ‘Keep.’
5. Mentally prepare yourself to resist the urge to impulse buy
As we all know, ’tis the season to be inundated with deals & wonderfully executed marketing. Set your comfortable dollar limit of what you want to spend and stick to it. Resist the temptation to make impulse buys after you have completed all your purchases. You will feel much more sound in knowing the exact dollar amount you spent, rather than realizing how much those impulse buys have snowballed to create a rolling decrease in your account.
The following are just 5 tips to create the framework to get you jingle bellin’ on a budget. Utilize these tips (and create your own!) to help save you dollars throughout the holiday season. I want you to have less stressing to spread more holiday blessings.