Tips to Affording Holiday Expenses
Christmas and Hanukkah should be happy and enjoyable times of the year, but enjoying these times can be difficult if you suffer from a lack of money. Following are a few tips to financially planning for your holiday expenses.
Plan well in advance. You know that these holidays are coming each year and that you will need money to spend for gifts, parties and maybe even travel. Start putting money away at the beginning of the year to be sure that you will have the money you need come the holiday season. You do not have to take very much out of each pay check when you start planning this far in the future, so you will not feel the effects as severely.
Start your shopping well in advance. If you start shopping in September or October, you can spend more time shopping around for better deals on the items that you are looking for. There are some people that you may be able to buy for even earlier which allows you to take advantage of clearance sales that occur just after the previous year’s holidays or though the summer months.
Department stores do have good sales sometimes, but when they are not holding a sale, do your best to avoid shopping at them. You will spend much more money on the same things that you could have bought by shopping online for much less. These departments stores have a very high mark up rate, so they should be a last resort when gift shopping.
Do not plan to get all of your shopping done in one day. Having the pressure to get everything bought on one day is going to make you look for less deals and pay more for the items you want to purchase. Taking the time to shop around is going to save you a lot of money.
Special sales and clearances are being held at all stores at one time or another. Make sure that you pay attention to sales ads and store websites. You can even sign up for the email clubs for many stores so they can alert you of when the sales are happening. Many times, they will also include printable coupons or promo codes that you can use to save money in-store or online.
It is a great idea to start shopping for gifts for next Christmas or Hanukkah the day after the holiday ends. You can get all kinds of great deals on holiday items at this time. You can get decorations for your home for at least half off of the retail cost. There are many great gifts; like holiday candles, picture frames and other decor that can be given as gifts the following year.
Holiday stress can be reduced drastically if you take the time to plan ahead. By shopping early and planning your purchases, you can reduce the amount of money that you need to buy everything that you want or need during that time of year.