Black Friday has come and gone and we are still recovering from all of those amazing deals! We hope that you were able to find some great deals for less, but if you are still shopping for the holidays, here are some budget tips to help you manage your expenses.
Consider All Holiday Expenses:
It’s common to think of gifts as your only expense associated with the holidays. However, there are many things we buy during this season that are easy to forget. Here’s a few examples:
- Travel Expenses: When visiting family or taking a vacation for the holidays, consider your gas, hotel, and flight expenses.
- Decorations: We all know how easy it is to get carried away with decorating for the holidays! If you buy a lot of decorations at this time of the year, remember to consider those costs in your final spend. Or, you can always wait till after the holidays to buy decorations for next year – you will save a lot more!
- Food and drinks: Are you hosting a Christmas party this year? Are you attending several parties with friends? Remember to consider the money you spend on food and drinks for these parties. It can add up quick!
Look for Extra Spending Money:
Who doesn’t want to find some extra spending money during the holidays? Here’s some types of money and rewards that belongs to you:
- Unclaimed money: Did you know that you may be missing out on unclaimed money that belongs to you? Check out our blog post on how to claim it!
- Credit card rewards: Whether you are part of the Education First uChoose Rewards program or another rewards program, be sure to check to see if you have any rewards with your credit cards. These points can be used for things such as buying gift cards or redeeming rewards for travel.
Minimize Other Spending:
You hear it all the time – expenses add up quick. It’s true, though! During the holiday season, examine what you are currently spending and see if there are ways you can cut back. Are you eating out every day? Are you paying for a monthly subscription service that you don't use? Find ways that you can cut back unnecessary expenses and this will give you some extra wiggle room for holiday spending.
Start Planning for Next Holiday Season:
Once you get a final idea of all the expenses associated with your holiday, you can begin to budget for next year. Take the total amount you spent, divide it by 12, and put that dollar amount aside each month into a separate savings account. One option is through the Education First Christmas Club account - which allows you to save throughout the year and earn dividends on your savings.
Then, when next December rolls around, you can take out these savings and use them for your holiday spending. This ensures you will enjoy your holidays without causing financial debt and stress!