This post is all about holiday budget tips.
It’s that time of year again- gift giving season. As much as we love “the most wonderful time of the year” it’s also known as the most stressful time of year. No doubt, the holidays are expensive and can raise your stress level to the tenth degree especially when you’re on a tight holiday budget.
Attending a holiday party or planning one? What about updating old Christmas lights, buying new decorations and of course gifts for all your loved ones? Any don’t forget those Christmas gift exchanges at your job. You want your Christmas to be filled with holiday cheer, but how can it be when you’re constantly stressing about money. Expenses can add up so to help, I’m sharing ways to come up with a holiday spending plan so you can stay on budget.
How To Stay On Top Of Your Holiday Budget
To keep your gift buying on a holiday budget during the winter holidays, here are 4 simple tips to follow.
Tip #1. Plan Ahead
Plan your holiday budget before heading to the malls or shopping online for new holiday clothes, holiday cards and holiday decorations. Use the amount you spent last year as a reference point. Gifts, small or large, can also really add up and before you know it, you’re left with a huge bill at the end of the holiday season. So be honest with yourself and know how much you can spend this year. If you made less money than last year, then you’ll need to spend less. You really need to create a strict spending limit for yourself.
If you need a bit more spending money, look at your existing budget. How much do you spend a month? Maybe cut back on restaurant dining or cable TV bills temporarily to cover presents for loved ones. Bargain-hunting can also help stretch your money a bit further.
Tip #2. Lists Are Your Friend
Create a list of expected holiday expenses. Having a list can really help you stay on track and to make sure you have enough money. Write down everyone you need to buy gifts for this year and put a dollar amount next to each name. Also, make lists of everything you need to spend this holiday season like a gift list, holiday party decor list, and grocery store shopping list.
If you’re going somewhere out of town, then have a holiday travel list for travel expenses, travel budget, travel costs, baggage fees and so on. Lists can also help you see if you need to cut back in one area to make room from another.
Tip #3. Reduce Your Stress
Plan your holiday shopping ahead of time as much as possible and maintain your daily routines to reduce your stress level. As we get closer to Christmas, gift shopping can be a headache, but you still have plenty of time to avoid last minute buys if you start planning now and shop smart.
Tip #4. Find Ways to Save
The best way to save is to start early. Start saving months or even a year in advance. Think about how much money you need to save for the holidays. You can create a savings account and periodically add money to it. It’s the perfect time to save because it can help you reach your financial goals a lot sooner. If there’s only weeks left until Christmas, cut back on unnecessary spending in other areas. Use the extra money for your holiday expenses.
Once you’ve got the holiday budget covered, now you can focus on more ways to save money in stores or online. You can really give your holiday savings a boost by following these shopping tips below:
- Look for retailers with discounts and special saving days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I use an app called Flipp which rounds up all the shopping circulars and coupons from my favorite brands. It helps me find a good price every time.
- Use coupons or coupon codes for in-store or online so you get cash back.
- Know your credit card rewards if you plan to shop with a credit card
- Buy discounted gift cards from sites like Card Cash and Raise.
- Instead of worrying about shipping costs when shopping online, look for retailers that offer free shipping.
I do most of my shopping online, because I hate the crowded parking lots and the huge lines at stores. If you prefer to do most (or all) of your shopping online and looking for ways to protect your holiday budget, the perfect solution is ShopRunner.
What is ShopRunner?
ShopRunner is the best way to shop online for the stuff you love. They offer members amazing benefits like unlimited free 2-day shipping, free return shipping, exclusive deals and early access to sales events, express checkout, tracking of all your online shopping receipts in one place, and they have many brands and products which are not available via Amazon Prime.
Right now, ShopRunner is solving the headache of holiday shopping with a limited time holiday free membership offer: spend $100 on one order at any of the 100+ ShopRunner partner stores and get a ShopRunner membership free for a 1 year (a $79 value).
See a full list of partner stores here: https://www.shoprunner.com/stores/
Some of my favorite retailers like Beauty.com, Neiman Marcus, Tory Burch and Bergdorf Goodman are on the list!
If you want to save time and money on your holiday shopping, I would take advantage of ShopRunner’s offer right now. It’s an easier way to shop for your whole family, get access to great promos like high quality goods at a portion of the sale price. You can continue to save big this year!
You can celebrate the holidays without breaking the bank by following these holiday budget tips above and remember that the holidays are about spending time with friends and family.
Shoprunner.com is the best way to shop online for the stuff you love. Visit the site to sign up! Plus, for a limited time only, they are offering a 30-day free trial!
Stick To Your Holiday Budget
Once you’ve exhausted your holiday budget, no more spending. Don’t reach for your credit cards either. The last thing you want is to start the new year with massive credit card debt caused by too much holiday shopping. I’m not saying using credit cards are bad, there are some benefits (i.e. credit card rewards), but it can be bad if you know you don’t have the funds to pay it off right away.
Keep track of your holiday spending on a piece of paper (my free holiday planner has a holiday budget printable which you can download below). Now add up everything and if you end up staying within your holiday budget, give yourself a pat on the back.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ShopRunner. The opinions and text are all mine.