The holidays are a time to catch up with old friends and family, share a few great meals and exchange gifts of appreciation and gratitude. However, the holidays can add a significant amount of financial stress, even for those who don’t struggle to make ends meet. Here are a few tips for budgeting money around the holidays.
Be Careful with Opening New Credit Cards
Credit cards help you to establish yourself, and in some cases, can help to repair any derogatory marks on your credit score. Obtaining a secured credit card, or a credit card for those looking to repair a negative score, is an excellent way to re-establish yourself financially. But beware of retail stores and companies putting the pressure on you to open a new line of credit. The interest rate for retail credit cards is usually high, and extra fees are tacked on if you are late making a payment.
Make a List and Check It as Many Times as You Need
Make a list with the items you plan on purchasing for everyone on your list and stick to those items. Set boundaries with your children and follow a rule used by many: something they want, need, to wear and read. Budget an amount for each gift and try your hardest not to deviate from that amount. Tracking your expenses can help you to determine how you can effectively utilize your money.
Consider a Personal Loan if Needed
Sometimes, small loans are a better option, especially if you aren’t able or willing to use a credit card. For those with poor or unestablished credit, opening a card can leave you feeling uneasy and apprehensive. Lenders like SkyCap Financial specialize in personal loans. Established in 2013, SkyCap Financial can assist with smaller loans up to $10,000 – enough to cover the miscellaneous expenses associated with holidays and gift-giving.
Start Shopping as Soon as Possible
In the age of technology, access to any gift in any price range is possible through online shopping. Planning and taking advantage of sales and price drops throughout the year can help you to get the most for your money. Paying with cash can cut down on debt spiraling out of control and helps to eliminate frivolous spending.