Budget for a holiday season that won’t break the bank

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The holiday season is a time to give and enjoy the company of friends and loved ones.

However, these donations can often come at a steep price point and lead even the strongest financial track records to hit a few downturns. Vacation spending is expected to increase 5% year-over-year, with the average consumer expected to spend $ 1,463 on vacation purchases in 2021, according to Deloitte’s annual vacation survey.

If that price tag seems a little steep to you, here are some tips to keep your holiday season cheerful, bright, and on budget.

Know your limits

For many, the joy of giving gifts to loved ones exceeds even the feeling of receiving a gift themselves. In an effort to spread the holiday cheer, it can be easy to go a little too far if you’re not careful.

Before purchasing the first gift this year, start by making a list of each person you plan to give and set a dollar limit that you are comfortable spending on each. Once you’ve made your list, make sure the total amount doesn’t shock you and adjust accordingly.

Once you’ve figured out your total budget, set aside time to research deals when possible.

If you have people on your list but your budget doesn’t have room to purchase a gift, consider doing something from the heart instead, because sometimes those gifts can mean even more. This could be a great opportunity to show off any baking or crafting skills you may have learned during the pandemic.

To be far ahead of

Global supply chain issues have at times become the norm during the pandemic, and they seem to be at their worst as the holiday season approaches.

While many consumers typically wait until Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday to start shopping in the hopes of finding some good deals, this year you will likely need to adjust your strategy.

Each holiday season there are usually a few hot items that are scarce, and that is expected to increase this year. As a result, many retailers’ offers shouldn’t be as good as they once were, so if there’s a gift you know you really want for someone on your list (or even yourself), it is better to research and act now and not risk waiting for a better sale.

Make credit card rewards work for you

If you have a rewards credit card, the holidays are a great time to create or use your rewards. With major purchases on the horizon for the holidays, be sure to use your best rewards account for purchases when possible in order to continue earning points or cash back.

For consumers who have already saved up their rewards in the past few months or years, the holidays can be the perfect opportunity to cash them in and save the money you would normally spend on gifts to spend on something else.

Using your credit cards for vacation purchases can also help protect your money, as the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) limits your liability for unauthorized purchases on your credit card to $ 50. Many debit and credit cards also offer fraud protection and limited liability to protect your accounts. The most important thing is to keep a close watch on all accounts, especially during times when you make frequent purchases to quickly detect and report fraud.

If you find yourself in a privileged position, I encourage you to seek out opportunities to brighten up the season for others in need. Many nonprofits are seeing increased demand at this time of year and there are plenty of opportunities to help others, whether you are ‘sponsoring a family’, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or just sending a beautiful greeting card to those who need it to show that they are loved.

As with all financial things in life, it’s important to remember to live within your means throughout the holiday season. With a good budgeting and buying strategy in place, you can make sure the holiday cheer doesn’t drain your wallet too much.


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