How to Financially Prepare for the Holidays
We know what you are thinking: how is it already that time of year again? With the holidays fast approaching, preparation will help you better manage your finances and keep you from overspending in the next few months. How can you prepare and make sure the holidays don’t get the best of your finances and derail your progress?
Map Out your Holiday Schedule
What can you expect this holiday season? Do you have family flying in from out of state? Traditional work parties that occur each year? Start noting important dates in your calendar as soon as you are aware of them and include the costs associated with them in your spending plan. You may not be aware of some events until a few weeks before the party date, which is why prioritizing your events—and what you can afford—ahead of time is crucial. For instance, you may have to RSVP regrets to your holiday work parties if you have family visiting from out of town. Prepping your holiday calendar helps you understand how much time you will have to focus on your finances and keeps you organized so you know exactly what to expect.
Book in Advance
Waiting to book last minute flights, lodging, and other travel plans can drastically increase the price you pay. On the other hand, if you know you have family staying with you and don’t need to book a flight, what do you need to do to prepare for their company? Would it make sense to arrange a family potluck if everyone is within a close distance? Make a list and start crossing off things you can get done in advance to prepare for the holiday festivities.
Prep your Credit Cards
You don’t want to put a strain on your credit cards. Your credit score could also be negatively impacted if you go from spending a significant amount of money to barely anything once the holidays pass. Gradual changes on your cards are key, especially if you are known to make impulse purchases. If you are only used to putting a couple hundred dollars on your credit card, then you should not come close to maxing it out this holiday season. Steer clear of using your credit cards entirely if you know they have the potential to wreak havoc on your finances and avoid accruing large amounts of credit card debt.
Buy Gifts Ahead of Time
Space out your expenses over the next few months. Instead of waiting for the holiday rush, get ahead of the crowd. Online purchases are becoming more and more common, which means items have the potential to sell out quickly. Buying a few gifts each month will help allocate your finances to keep your budget under control and saves you from finding a back-up plan for those out of stock items. Though it may seem as if there are better deals closer to the holidays, this is not always the case. Sometimes the best deals arrive after the holidays have already passed. Take advantage of sale items, deals, and coupons now. Spacing out the expenses will also create less of a burden on your finances. This gives you more time to focus on enjoying the holidays rather than stressing about last-minute shopping.
Do you need help achieving financial freedom? Contact one of our friendly counselors at New Era Debt Solutions to learn more about finding the debt relief option that best fits your needs and budget. We look forward to getting to know you and creating a plan designed just for you. Our counselors are with you every step of the way.