While the holiday season is a joyous time of year full of laughter, love, and cheer, it can also be a time full of stress and financial despair. According to a study completed by the American Research Group, Inc., the average American is expected to spend over $900 on gifts for family, friends, and loved ones this holiday season alone. If you don’t have $900 already set aside for gifts this season, you’re not alone. That’s why we’re bringing you some great ways to stretch your holiday budget and save you from financial distress.
Hacks to stretch your holiday budget:
- Make a Plan: First things first – sit down and take a hard look at your finances, how many people you’d like to purchase gifts for, and what your budget will allow. Making and pricing out a list will also help you to stay on track and on budget.
- Do your Research: Have your eye on a specific gift for someone? Don’t jump on the first deal that comes your way. Try comparison shopping online or download a digital coupon app like RetailMeNot for deals and discount codes.
- Sign up for Email Alerts: If you’ve got several favorite stores, make sure you sign up for email alerts to receive news and information on sales and discount offers.
- Pay with Cash: While it’s tempting to charge up your credit card for gifts you think your family and friends will really love, setting a strict budget and taking out the exact amount of cash you plan to spend will help you to avoid that post-holiday debt.
- Take Advantage of Credit Promotions: While we do encourage you to use cash to stay on budget, it may be smart to check into your credit card company incentives and promotions to see if they offer cash rewards or points that will help you earn more. If you do decide to go this route, please remember to use credit responsibly
- DIY: It’s truly the thought that counts, so why not channel your creativity to make your own, personalized gifts for your loved ones? With the robust internet today, you should have no problem finding a number of ideas. Try checking out Pinterest to get you started.
- Set a Limit: There’s no harm in proposing a monetary limit with family and friends to help you stretch your budget on gifts this year. It is likely that they are in the same boat as you are and will welcome the gift limit idea.
So, leave the stress behind this season and use these handy tips to help you stretch your holiday budget.