It seems to me that each year Black Friday sneaks up sooner than the previous year. You would think that I’d be prepared, after all I’ve written on the subject a few times before. Looking at the calendar this morning it dawned on me, I’d better start my holiday spending plan right away.
Black Friday can present some excellent savings opportunities if you are able to save enough money to make your holiday shopping a ‘cash only’ experience. Otherwise if you rely on credit cards to make your purchases things can add up quickly and when the last purchase is made you could be facing months of payments to get caught back up.
Here is a reminder of a few tips we feel will help you budget a “cash only” Holiday season:
- Begin saving now for Christmas shopping and Holiday activities. Starting in July would be ideal, but now is better than later.
- Create a list of people you would like to give gifts to and assign each person a dollar amount.
- Shop early, before the Holiday rush. Shopping early allows more opportunities to find deals.
- Make any Holiday travel arrangements early. Be flexible on dates and times you are willing to travel.
- Think outside of the box for gift ideas like a free night of babysitting or one house cleaning.
- Stick to your budget.
- Cut costs when planning family outings. Attend concerts and activities provided by the community. (Some are free).
Remember, the goal is to avoid using credit at all costs. That includes applying for new lines of credit, small loans, or credit cards. Definitely avoid pay day loans to help you make holiday purchases as the backlash can have tough consequences. By going “cash only” you can stop the overspending trend and begin your New Year on a positive note.
If you have any questions, would like to discuss your financial challenges, or are just looking for advice, please contact us at your convenience. As always, we are here to help you and look forward to hearing from you.