Holiday Budgeting Tips

November 9, 2023 |
Article | 5 min
| Personal Insights

Gear up for the season with our holiday budgeting tips! Maximize your festive cheer while staying on track with your financial plans. While it’s better to give than receive, you can take charge of your expenses this season with effective holiday budgeting tips.

Understanding Our Spending Intentions

Before we get into our budgeting tips, it’s important to understand why you might be tempted to buy more this holiday season. Stress can be a key factor in overspending and is sometimes more stressful than the holidays.

You might also feel social pressure to buy certain in-demand items. Or a flash sale could lead to an impulse purchase, even if you’ve wrapped up all your shopping. The risk of overspending can be even greater if you feel that rushed to get your shopping done.

Holiday Budgeting Tips

Before you log on to Amazon or walk into Target, try using these five budgeting tips to make sure you have a solid holiday shopping plan.

1. Make a List and Check It Twice

Making a comprehensive list of everyone you want to shop for this holiday season can help set a budget for each person. For example, you might want to spend more on your children and spouse than on your extended family and friends without spending too much.

2. Credit Card vs. Cash

Paying with cash is among the top budgeting tips, especially during the holiday season. After all, cash can increase your awareness of money. If you use a credit card this holiday season, plan to pay it off as soon as possible. Set aside the money and pay the card off when you’ve completed your holiday shopping. While credit cards are a great way to earn reward points, it is important to use caution to avoid having to pay interest.

3. Shop Early, Save Early

If you are planning to shop early this year, try to take advantage of the early shopper benefits. Early shopping can bring some benefits:

  • Less Stress. The stress of last-minute shopping is a quick way to go over budget. Begin shopping in early-to-mid November and chip away at your list instead of doing it all at once.
  • Better Selection. Waiting to shop can limit product selection in stores and online. If you have the perfect gift idea, buy it and keep it somewhere safe.
  • Avoid Inflation. Prices tend to rise naturally as the holidays approach. Sellers know that last-minute shoppers are inclined to overspend.
  • Leverage Deals. Holiday sales start in November, so take advantage of these deals to finish your holiday shopping early and under budget. Just remember to stick to your list!

4. Smart Spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Ignoring a good deal is hard, even for something you don’t need. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are famous for having the year’s best holiday deals, so keep these budgeting tips in mind:

  • Follow Your Favorite Stores. Use social media to track sales and news about your favorite stores. They may even extend deals for a few days.
  • Research, Research, Research. Dig into each item on your list to see who’s offering the best deals or lowest prices.
  • Set Up Accounts Early. Once you’ve nailed down your targeted stores, set up your online accounts in advance.

5. Track Your Spending and Review Your Receipts

It’s hard to track your budget without a paper trail. If you do all your shopping online, make sure you save your digital receipts.  Notate them in your email or create a folder on your desktop.

Paper receipts are easy to lose, so be extra diligent. Like the digital folder on your desktop, keep a physical receipt folder in your office. When the holiday season passes, you can easily review your spending.

How To Stick to Your Budget and Still Have a Wonderful Holiday Season

Adhering to a budget is one of the best ways to enjoy the holiday season. Of course, there are other ways to enjoy the holidays that don’t involve spending money. You can host a potluck at your home, volunteer at a local shelter or food pantry or create personal homemade gifts.

By following these budgeting tips, you can have one of the best, and less stressful holiday seasons yet. Make a list, stick to it, and shop early. Go into Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a solid plan so you don’t overspend.

If you need assistance starting your budget and checking in on it, our team at Bank of Blue Valley, a division of HTLF Bank would be happy to assist!  Connect with us today by using the button below.