Budget, Plan and Save Now to Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season

Procrastination can lead to a financial crisis. You know you have expenses coming up but think somehow it will work itself out. This mindset can lead to more debt and less financial security. Holiday shopping is a perfect example. Every year you spend money between Thanksgiving and Christmas to celebrate the holidays. Failing to plan for these expenses can lead to financial trouble.

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the most expensive of the year. In 2018, US shoppers spent over a trillion dollars between gifts, decorations, food, travel, and other holiday costs. Planning can keep your costs in check and prevent you from incurring new debt to start the new year.

5 ways to Budget and Save for the Upcoming Holiday Season

  1. Set a Budget. Creating a holiday-specific budget that is separate from everyday spending will help you financially prepare for the expenses incurred during the holidays. To establish an accurate budget, consider all the costs of the holidays. Will you travel to see family, entertain guests in your home, or participate in a work-sponsored gift exchange. Presents, decorations, wrapping paper, and food all add to the cost of the celebration.
  2. Start Setting Aside Money Now. Once you have an estimate of how much you think you will spend, add 10% and divide the amount by the number of paychecks you will get between now and Thanksgiving. It is much easier to set aside $50 a week or $100 a paycheck than trying to account for an additional $1,000 or more in spending in November and December.
  3. Get a Side Gig. The popularity of the sharing economy has made it easier to earn extra money with a side job. Forbes reports that 25% of workers use side gigs to supplement or replace income. You can put in a few extra hours a week to earn enough money to cover your holiday costs. It is fast and easy to establish an account and increase your income by driving for Uber, delivering meals through Postmates, or completing side jobs through TaskRabbit. What are your talents and what could you do to use them for income? Take a chance on yourself. It may even grow into something of new career move or dream come true business.
  4. Reduce Monthly Expenses. Review current expenses and find ways to do things cheaper. Then redirect those funds into a savings account. If you fail to redirect the money saved, you will spend it on other impulse purchases, preventing you from seeing the benefits of cutting back. When you don’t see progress, it’s easy to lose your motivation and give up before it becomes a habit.
  5. You might have monthly subscriptions or a gym membership you don’t use or find you overspend on fast food restaurants or convenience stores. Wherever you decide to cut back, eliminating budget inefficiencies can free up money for other priorities like holiday gifts or travel.
  1. Find a Reliable Method to Track Spending. It’s one thing to have a budget and another to follow it. Over the next few months, take notice of everyday spending and establish a habit of tracking expenses. You can rely on a traditional spreadsheet or a smartphone app to see where your money goes. The key is to consistently track what you spend so you can adjust your budget to your needs.

Taking a proactive approach to holiday costs can save you money, better allocate the money you earn, and allow you to pay cash for the holidays rather than adding to existing debt balances. Investing in yourself with what you love doing, seeing how you can create a small stream of income is exciting. It will take courage to venture out, but when you see an income build, you’ll be glad you moved past any discomfort or fear.

About Titan Consulting Group

Titan Consulting Group helps consumers evaluate various debt relief options and choose the right program that best fits their short-term and long-term financial goals. We work with consumers seeking debt consolidation loans, or who may be considering options like debt negotiation or bankruptcy. Through our network of partners, we can help you find the right solution to reach your goals and get back to living a life free from high interest credit card debt.

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