How to Get Ahead of the Holiday Spending Splurge
You’ve just recovered from your summer spending and it seems that every store you walk into is getting ready for the holidays. Before you start to panic, here are some easy ways to save and even pay for the holidays way in advance.
Rearrange Your Finances
If you have good credit and are paying off a mortgage or other loans, put your finances in order to save before the holiday spending rush comes around. If you own a home you could take advantage of your property’s equity and possible lower rates by refinancing your mortgage. You could lower your monthly payments, use the extra cash to save for the holidays, and possibly benefit from interest savings for years to come. Another good idea is to move your credit card balances to a low-rate credit card. Check the rates on your credit cards and transfer balances to lower rates. By saving monthly on the interest paid, the savings can add up quickly and you can put that towards holiday shopping.
Become a Budget Expert
Decide how much you want to spend on gifts and set up a budget. It’s that easy. If you make simple changes to your routine you could start saving some cash each month. When paying your monthly bills from now until December, set aside a fixed amount as if it were a monthly bill. By “paying” yourself, say $100 per month, you can save big every year. You can also try new ways for lowering your monthly expenses. For some quick tips, check out Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Lead to Big Savings.
Another idea is to round up to the nearest hundred each monthly bill and save the difference. For example, if this month’s power bill was $129, round it up to $200 and transfer the remaining $71 to a savings account. If you do this with every monthly bill, the savings could really add up.
Become a Savvy Shopper
A good way to pay for your holiday spending in advance is to buy unused gift cards at a discount. Try websites where you can buy, sell or trade gift cards and save big on shopping expenses.
Start shopping early and take advantage of deals months before the holidays. You can sign-up for discount shopping websites to be on the lookout for good deals on gifts. If you start buying now you will lower your chances of over-spending during the holidays. If you’re planning a trip, browse now for flights and hotels to get a better idea of pricing, that way you can plan accordingly and even book weeks in advance to snag the best deals.