It is already mid-November, and the holidays are nearly here! With Black Friday coming up in just a couple of weeks, many people are getting ready to take advantage of some amazing deals to kick off their holiday shopping. Between buying gifts, decorating your home for the December holidays, and other expenses, all of these expenses can quickly add up. If an individual does not carefully plan and keep track of their spending, they could find themselves starting off the New Year in debt.
This holiday season, keep these smart budgeting tips in mind to keep your finances in check:
- Don’t rely on credit cards. It is easy for credit card spending to get out of control during the holidays. While it may be tempting to charge your purchases when you run out of cash, debt is one gift no one wants for Christmas. Consider using your credit cards the same way you would treat a debit card – keep a log of your purchases and only charge what you know you will be able to pay off in full at the end of the month. If you plan on purchasing big ticket items, have a plan in place to have your balance paid off within a few months.
- Plan expenses based on your discretionary income. Your budget should be determined by how much money you have leftover after paying for all other necessary monthly expenses. Review your budget carefully to make sure you know how much is available to spend without having to turn to a credit card.
- Compare your past holiday spending habits. What were your spending habits like last holiday? What did you buy, and how did you buy it? Were you tempted by many unplanned impulse or last-minute purchases? Consider these questions when planning for your purchases this year. Being more aware of your spending habits can help you be a more conscientious shopper in the future.
- Put together a shopping plan. If you plan to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, put together a shopping plan for exactly what you plan to purchase and where. Often, you can take advantage of the same deals online that are offered in store, so you may even be able to save yourself the early morning trip as well. Comparison shopping online before you buy is a great way to ensure that you are getting the best prices for all of the items on your list.
We hope that you find these tips helpful and wish you and your family happy holidays!
Are you struggling with unmanageable debt? Consult with the Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys at Wadhwani & Shanfeld. Our lawyers are prepared to review your case and help you come up with a debt solution that best meets your needs. Call (800) 996-9932 to request your free consultation!