If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. You may have heard this saying a number of times. As light as it may sound the saying is true for almost all events and aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to managing our finances. Planning becomes ever so important in the holiday season. Without adequate preparation, your finances can get really messy and peace of mind, well, messier. Therefore we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips with you on how to financially prepare for a stress free holiday season.
Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season
- Planning early is the most important step. Start making your gift lists, décor requirements, vacation plans and every possible expense you can think of. Make sure you check it twice to see if you included every potential purchase, even the small things such as gift wrapping, postage and holiday cards.
- Plan out your spending. Will you be shopping everything in one trip or spread it out? Creating a list and planning your budget for the coming weeks makes it easier to manage your budget. You can use the Budgeting tools from ACCC to ease this whole process.
- Set small saving goals. Set aside some additional money from each paycheck only for holiday spending. It might be a little too late to open a holiday savings account for this year, but it will be a good money goal for 2016. Deposit money into an account all year round. That way, you’ll have money saved for when you’re ready to start your holiday shopping.
- Stay tuned for deals & rewards. Start looking for deals online, collect those coupons and cash in rewards from the loyalty programs and credit cards. Leave enough time for online shopping. Try to avoid last minute shopping in order to escape high shipping costs and delivery charges.
- Plan your holiday meals ahead of time. Make a menu plan and stock up when items are on sale. Start baking and get crafty. Many recipes for cookies and cakes allow you to bake treats and then freeze them. Try to buy baking supplies in bulk and prepare multiple recipes at the same time to save a little more.
- See which gifts you can DIY. These are often the most thoughtful and treasured by your loved ones. Get Start working on projects in the coming weeks, doing a little each day. Involve your kids and make it a fun project for the holidays.
- Remember, life doesn’t end by the time you finish celebrating in the holidays. Your finances and regular expenses will pile up sooner than later. So make smart money choices when you plan your holiday spending. A drop of planning and a dash of creativity is the perfect combination to have a stress free holiday season. Best wishes for a joyful time!