Christmas still seems far away, because Halloween is not past? However, there are just over 100 days left until your January credit card statement arrives. Avoid a bad surprise for the new year by planning your holiday spending now!
Evaluate your expenses and available savings
It is certainly not your first Christmas! Use your past habits to plan for your future needs. Review your spending from last year by checking your credit card and banking statements. Identify the cost of gifts, but also the following costs: packaging, Christmas cards, decorations, food, travel and clothing.
After identifying your total expenses, check how much money you have available. Then figure out how much you have to save to pay for everything. Divide this amount by the number of pays you have left by December 24. You can automatically transfer an amount to a savings account or put the cash in a special envelope.
Establish a purchasing plan
Do you have less savings than expected or do you lack the time to accumulate them? Establish a purchasing plan according to your values and means. It will be very useful for you to withstand the many demands and temptations of the holiday season.
First, make a list of the people you want to give a gift to. Do not forget the exchanges in the family, at work and those of your children. Also consider the hostess gifts you will give at the receptions to which you will be invited.
Now comb through your list.
- Eliminate non-essential people. Is it crucial to offer it to your child’s teacher? To your colleagues? Or your nephews who have grown up?
- Determine who could receive a “homemade” gift: box of cookies, exchange of service, coupon for a few hours of babysitting, etc.
- Identify the people to whom you could rather send a Christmas card. A few sincere words are often more fun than a useless gadget!
Find strategies to save
Shop around. Make a shopping list, compare prices and monitor sales. You can subscribe to merchant newsletters to find out about their promotions. Some offer discounts at the time of joining or a price alert service.
Buy online. You will avoid travel costs, the temptation to buy an additional or more expensive gift! Check the costs and delivery times. Use Canadian sites to prevent unpleasant surprises or additional costs. Pay cash, if you go to the store. It’s easier to stick to your budget and realize the value of money. Encourage children to work. Do your kids need money to give gifts to family members or friends? They could perform tasks to raise the necessary amount. Depending on their age, they can offer different services in the neighborhood: babysitting, walking a dog, picking up dead leaves, etc.
Prepare for next year
Despite your good intentions, did your spending exceed your forecasts? Tell yourself that your planning certainly helped you limit the damage. And take the opportunity to better prepare yourself for next year!
In January, summarizes the exercise from the beginning and determine an amount to save monthly. You will be relieved to have 12 months to do it!