How To Plan For The Holidays In July
Summer is the perfect time for beach trips, barbecues, and … budgeting for the holidays? While Christmas and Hanukkah may seem far off, planning and saving now can take the pressure off your wallet in the months to come.
Here, we’re sharing our top tips for doing just that:
Start With A Number In Mind
Make a list of everyone you’ll buy for this year, from loved ones and friends to teachers and mail carriers. Allocate a dollar amount for each and add it up — that’s the total amount you need to save this summer and fall.
If it’s more than you want to spend, trim your gift-giving budget or aim to save more each month. Think about introducing a gift exchange to your family and friends to help even more, or maybe a “Homemade Christmas” where everyone makes their gifts. You’ll be helping them as well.
While you’re looking at your list jot down some thoughts about what to give each person within the budget you have allocated. That will hep you later.
You’ll be thrilled when the time comes and you have yourself organized and your spending well in control. You’ll sail through the holidays like a star!
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Track Your Savings
It’s more fun to save when you’re working toward a concrete goal. Many money-saving apps and apps from your bank feature a built-in budgeting tool that allows you to set savings targets and visually track your progress.
You’ll be less tempted to splurge when you have a clear sense of where your money is going. Every time you pack a lunch rather than eating out, you’ll see the payoff in your account balance — and feel more motivated to continue your savings streak.
Make Time Work In Your Favor
Don’t wait until Black Friday to take inventory of your recipients’ wish lists. Start now, so you can comparison shop and watch for price drops.
Take Advantage Of Apps & Online Free Services
Sites like Dealnews.com and Rakuten.com offer discount roundups, and MyBargainBuddy.com lists free shipping policies and coupon codes for online stores.
Planning ahead makes you less prone to overspending at the last minute.
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Cut Your Bills Down
This is a great time to call and compare prices for bills like internet, cable phone bills, and especially your insurance. Start with vehicle insurance, but don’t forget to check into your homeowners, renters, or health and life insurance.
This is an excellent way to put a little extra money in your pocket.
Give From The Heart
The best gift isn’t necessarily the most expensive one — it’s a personal one tailored to your loved ones’ interests. A homemade present or treasured heirloom might be just the ticket to making them feel special.
And some of your friends and family may appreciate the gift of quality time rather than a physical object. Cliché or not, it’s the thought that counts.
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