This year’s holiday spending is forecasted to outpace last year. According to Deloitte, holiday spending is expected to exceed $1.1 trillion between November and January, a 4.5 to 5% increase over 2018.1
It’s not too late to get a handle on spending. Begin with these tips:
Develop a holiday spending budget
Whether you plan to travel, host or attend holiday parties, shop for friends and family members, or all the above, a budget is critical for keeping spending in check. Begin by setting a spending limit for each area of holiday spending, from meals to gifts to travel.
Pare down your list
The winter holidays are a time of gratitude, generosity, and good cheer. However, too much good cheer can result in overspending, which can have the opposite effect come January when the bills are due. Take the time now to consider whether you can pare down your gift list or work with friends and family members to establish spending limits.
Waiting until the last minute can result in rush decisions. “Panic buying” only adds stress for you and your wallet. The earlier you put your gift list together, the more time you’ll have to shop strategically. Starting early also provides ample time to watch for sales, compare offers in-store and online, and avoid expedited shipping costs.
Pay with cash
Paying with cash can go a long way toward curbing impulse purchases. However, as more people shop online each holiday season, cash isn’t always a practical alternative. If you use credit cards, do so judiciously and make sure you’re recording each credit card purchase to keep track of overall spending.
Take a “time-out”
According to Credit Karma, whether it’s through sight, smell, or sound, retailers know what senses to manipulate to make you buy.2 So stepping away from a store and out of its environment for a few minutes can help you clear your mind and better evaluate how you really want to spend your money.
No matter what you plan to spend this holiday season, time spent planning ahead is time well spent. For help with managing your savings and spending needs now and throughout the year, contact our office to schedule a time to talk about the best strategies for you. Find additional tips here.