The holidays are here which means more festive decorations, incessant Christmas music and yes, last minute sales.
If you’re like me and you do last minute shopping every year, the stress and impulsive buys under pressure are probably all too familiar. Unfortunately, waiting until the last minute means we have less time to think strategically and follow the best deals. However – don’t fret, there is still a couple basic things you can do to have a meaningful holiday without breaking the bank.
Start off with a budget and stick with it. ?
Yes, I know this sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people don’t sit down and do this. Instead of starting your shopping spree with a list of gifts to buy or people to buy them for, create your budget first. This way you will be able to grasp the ABSOLUTE max amount of money you can spend on gifts within reason (key word!).
(Don’t forget to add cushion for sales tax, shipping fees or any of the additional costs that people often forget.)
Armed with this budget, you can walk into any shopping situation with confidence that you won’t spend more than you have.
If you know you will have trouble sticking with a budget – then withdraw the cash out of your bank account entirely and use cash ? only when buying your gifts. Leave your cards at home when you go shopping and avoid online shopping, if possible.
If you MUST browse Amazon or have limited physical shopping opportunities, then get a prepaid Visa gift card so you can easily stick to your budget with no problems.
Are you ready for my real #CHIKASTAXTIP? Budget smart for the WHOLE year so you don’t have to stress about spending money during the holidays.
Have you heard of the 50-30-20 rule? This is an easy way to look at budgeting for the year. Spend 50% of your income on living expenses, including rent, utilities, groceries, etc. Use 30% to spend on things that are fun for you – eating out, going to the movies, traveling, etc. and stash 20% away into your savings account.
Of course, there is no one size fits all approach to budgeting. Some folks can save more or less, but however, you decide to split the percentages, just stay consistent with them throughout the year. You’ll be surprised at how refining your savings plan can save you a lot of stress and pad your pockets.
And how perfect is it that the new year is approaching? T’is best time to try out your new budget plan!
Start today! I designed this FREE 2019 budget planning template just for you. Download here.
Have you started your holiday shopping? Or do you plan to sit this year out? Hit the comments and let me know.
PS: Enjoyed what you read? Want to be 1st to hear more from me? Subscribe to #ChikasTaxTips and never miss out.