The holidays are not only a time for joy and family; they're also a point in the year that can strain budgets and can quickly drain your savings account if you're not careful. Holidays don't always have to feel ominous and anxiety-inducing! You want to spend time creating memories with your loved ones - not stressing over missed payments and buying expensive presents. Today we've got some tips everyone can use this season that will keep your spending in check, your savings untouched, and your stress levels way down.
1) Create a Budget
It may seem obvious and like common sense, but the best starting point to enforce less spending is to create a budget. Budgeting tools like Mint stand out for their ability to help you track what you are spending so you can create a budget according to your specific lifestyle.
You can get as granular as you want when it comes to categorization with these apps. This can help you not only during the holidays but during the rest of the year as well. Consider linking your most used bank accounts to this app so you can use the rest of the month to adjust your spending around Christmas presents. Set goals for the amount you need to save in order to afford things like presents, food for Christmas dinner, or travelling to see family. The app will tell you how much you need to put away each day, week, or month in order to hit your target.
In addition to smart money apps, make sure you know your weak points - the areas you know make it hard for you to restric spending. For example, some people find it harder to spend with a card. However, they can spend cash in no time flat. On the other hand, some people will spend on a card with ease but have a harder time parting with cash.
Whichever is harder for you is the method you should try to do all of your shopping with! That will help you to cut down on extra spending and force you to think twice before you buy each item, whether a gift or essential.
2) Set a Limit for Gifts
Everyone loves gifting and getting. If you aren't careful, this love can turn into too much spending which hurts you in the long run. As such, it's important to set at least a mental limit for the cost you're willing to spend on holiday gifts.
Think about a gift limit for close family, family, close friends, friends, and work acquaintances. Some people choose to have a $10 limit across the board, while others might be okay with spending $50 on their parents but only $5 for people that work with.
3) Take Up Extra Work
No one likes to work extra over the holidays, but this is one of the best ways to make sure that you save more money. For example, if you have a shift-based job, then there's a high chance that people will be willing to trade with you for time off. If they do, you'll be able to get some extra cash immediately. Also, some companies may pay more if you work during the holidays. That means money money in the bank and a future day off, a double win!
If you can't trade shifts, think about taking a holiday job on the weekends working as a "Santa's helper" or at a clothing store. These types of jobs last only during the holidays and can get you quite a bit of extra cash each weekend.
4) Get a Holiday Loan
If you don't have the money you need and are just waiting on your next paycheque to arrive, holiday loans could be the perfect option for your circumstances. Otherwise known as payday loans, short-term loans, and cash advances, these can help you get what you need now and pay the money back when you get it. Just make sure you're only taking out the money that you can afford to. You never want to take too much and get caught up trying to pay back the money you don't have.
iCASH is a reliable and fully-licensed lender offering quick loans of up to $1,500. We are open even on the holidays and can help you in a pinch! Check out our site for more information on how our loans work.