Christmas season can be a difficult time for your wallet, but it doesn't have to be like that.
As you're shopping, you've got to think about spending wisely. Christmas season can be a difficult time for your wallet, but it doesn't have to be like that.
Andrea Woroch, Family Finance expert, says, "thinking ahead is key to avoiding debt over the holidays." She points out that it is essential to create a holiday savings account.
Andrea is a highly-recognized money saving expert, writer, speaker, and TV personality that offers smart saving tips and practical personal finance advice to help people reach financial freedom.
"What I recommend is cutting maybe one, two, or even three regular expenses so that you now free up some extra cash that can be put towards that holiday savings," the expert stresses.
You can also set a budget for each person and each gift. When you're not writing down, it's so easy to overlook the total impact of how much you're spending. Woroch recommends that instead of buying a 20 USD bottle of wine as a hostess gift, you bake cookies instead.
Another good option is to start shopping the sales right now. It allows you to manage your cash flow. Buying gifts before the holidays can help you feel less pressured to buy everything at once.
In case you need extra cash, you can take a look at your house and sell the things you don't use anymore. From clothes to furniture, you can get some money from it.
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Andrea says it's also essential to set gift expectations with your family and friends: "a quick conversation a couple of months before the holidays can save you a lot of stress as we get closer to all of those fun parties and important days."
Set a realistic budget
It would help if you looked at what you spent last holiday season on gifts and travel to create the preliminary budget without forgetting the small cost, including groceries for out-of-town guests, postage, and décor. All these things will add up and bust your budget. Create a savings plan to help you get there.
How do I add extra money to my budget?
The expert recommends looking for items around your home; you no longer need or use. You can sell them at sites like Facebook marketplace. You also have opportunities to give your opinion and get paid there. Sites like Find Focus Groups will pay you to try products, services and share your feedback.
Start shopping earlier
If you start shopping earlier, you won't feel a financial strain come December when you have less money to shop with. Start picking up a few gifts here and there throughout the next three months, which will alleviate that strength.
Boost your budget
If you're on a limited income and living paycheck to paycheck, you may feel it impossible to find extra funds even to afford the holidays, and it may seem like credit cards are your only option. You can have a part-time job to save some money.
With these tips, you will be able to enjoy the holidays, stress, and debt-free.