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7 Holiday Budget Tips To Keep You Safe & Secure

Loan Express | December 17, 2022

Loan Express does not require credit checks, decline a loan based off a credit check, nor do credit checks affect the minimum approved amount of the loan. The following article is purely for educational purposes.

The holidays can be financially and emotionally exhausting for anyone, especially if you’re short on cash or living paycheck to paycheck. Today, Loan Express is going to share some tips and tricks to help you keep your money goals in mind while still enjoying the festive season with your friends and family.

Tips & Tricks How to Plan Your Holidays Accordingly

Planning for big holidays by making a budget, shopping with a list, and communicating gift plans with friends and family is essential in helping you worry less about your debt and focus more on quality time with loved ones. Here are some tips to keep your hard-earned money safe and secure during these upcoming months and how to welcome the New Year debt-free.

Set up a Holiday Budget

Having a budget for holiday shopping always guarantees you will avoid overspending or can put time into thinking about the gifts you’d like to buy for people. Starting early can help you save by taking advantage of coupons and deals. 

Plan your gift budget, a budget for decorations, food, and other holiday-related expenses. Always have a little extra in your back pocket in case you find the perfect gift for someone special that you can’t pass up or if costs unexpectedly go up.

Making A Shopping List

If you’ve ever gone grocery shopping without a list, you know how easy it is to add stuff to your cart that you don’t need and end up overspending. Make a list of the people you want to buy gifts for, how much you’re allowing yourself to spend on each person, and a few gift ideas you can choose from so you aren’t spending hours in stores trying to find a good gift.

If you begin to see that your spending is not within your budget, consider discussing alternative gifts with friends and family – they might appreciate saving money just as much.

Moderate Spending for Gifts 

If you have coworkers who are hard to buy for or a great aunt you see once a year, you should talk to them about a gift you can buy each other that is simple and inexpensive. For the entire office, a group of friends, or family members, propose doing a Secret Santa evening where everyone has a small budget they have to stick to – the fun of the Secret Santa surprise as well as trying to think of a thoughtful gift that costs less really brings out holiday creativity.

If you want to keep your spending low without doing a group gift exchange, think about low-cost gifts such as a framed photograph, homemade baked goods, handmade holiday decorations, or something special from a local antique market or thrift store. You can also give the gift of your time by offering to babysit or dog walk for a friend who’s a new parent or run errands for an older relative who could use the extra help.

If you’re hosting a holiday dinner party, a potluck is a great way to save money and enjoy delicious food everyone can enjoy making and eating. Offer to make the turkey and ask someone to bring veggies, mashed potatoes, ham, desserts, and beverages. 

Lastly, instead of spending money on a holiday card, handmade cards or e-cards can be a fun, creative way to say happy holidays without breaking the bank.

Pay Cash or Use a Coupon 

If you take out a specific amount of cash within your budget every time you go holiday shopping, you will save a shocking amount. Having the material limitation of cash or a debit card where you know the exact amount you are allowed to spend can help to not overspend and ensure you’re only buying necessary and meaningful gifts – no impulse buys here! Once the cash is gone, or your debit card balance is dipping, you’re done shopping for the day.

Pay Attention to Credit Cards

Credit cards can be dangerous around the holidays, especially if you have a high spending limit. After a huge shopping spree, you suddenly need to pay off thousands of dollars you can’t afford. To maintain your financial responsibility and security while shopping, try using a debit card or strictly monitoring your credit card balance via a mobile banking app or checking your account daily.

Pay off balances as soon as possible and stick to your budget – if you overspend, you know it’s time to start taking out cash or making a list.

Take Advantages of Retailer’s Promotion

Many stores, both online and bricks and mortar, offer excellent deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can also search out significant savings during the months leading up to the holidays – stores will always have discounts or promotions to entice you to buy more. If you stick to your shopping list and still enjoy the deals, you’re making two great budgeting decisions at once!

This year, “Free Shipping Day” is December 14th, when hundreds of online vendors offer free shipping with no minimum spending, so you can buy only what you need. Black Friday is on November 25th this year, and Cyber Monday is on November 28th. Additionally, look through flyers you get in the mail and coupons emailed to you so you can see which stores near you offer discounts.

Use Cash Back Sites or Apps to Save Money

This holiday shopping season, take advantage of the multitude of free budgeting and money-saving apps available to you. Extensions like Honey, which offers you discounts that you wouldn’t know about otherwise while you’re online shopping, or apps like Mint, which is perfect for helping you budget, can be your best friend, not just during the holidays but year-round. 

All in all, there are many ways you can save on spending while still getting your friends, family members, and coworkers thoughtful gifts. If you need extra cash for your budget in between paychecks, fill out an online application with Loan Express and receive your money within minutes. Keep these budget tips in mind and enjoy your stress and debt-free holiday season!