$805.65. That’s the average amount consumers will spend celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and/or Kwanzaa this year according to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey. Whether you spend more or less, the holiday season is right around the corner! Here are some of the best ways to save and make sure you and your wallet are prepared for the holidays.
Set a budget and check it twice.
Budgeting for the holidays can help you save money, reduce stress, and have a more enjoyable holiday season.
One way to start is to figure out what you want to spend. This will give you a clear idea of how much to save.
Another way to budget is to create list of the people you buy gifts for and then set a price point for each person. Total this up for your savings goal. Then use the list to keep track of spending so you don’t blow your budget.
Don’t rip into your savings for wrapping supplies.
Avoid unnecessary spending on wrapping supplies you already have. Many of us have bags, wrapping paper, boxes, etc. left over from last season. Check what’s on hand so you can free up space in your budget as well as your home.
Don’t wait to start shopping. Keep a keen eye out for gifts for family and friends on your list all year round. You might find the perfect gifts at a craft show, antique market, or boutique when you’re not looking for something specific.
Be sure to keep track of your purchases and keep them in a specific place (maybe hidden if need be).
Brave Black Friday
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a big time to score great deals on very specific gifts – if you’re willing to brave the crazy crowds also looking for the steal of the season. If you opt for shopping these days, get a game plan together:
- What gift are you looking for?
- What stores have this item?
- What times are the prices lowest?
Having a plan of attack can help you save the most and avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Are you good at art? Can you craft? For many family members and friends a handcrafted gift means more than something store-bought. Maybe you have skills for making home or car repairs; offer your skill set as a gift. You may be surprised how grateful people are for your help and expertise.
Get Started Ahead of Time
The best way to make sure you have enough for your holidays is to plan early. The sooner you start budgeting and saving the more you can accomplish! You may even find yourself with a surplus you could use to treat yourself or roll into next year.
Consumers offers a special “Christmas Savings” account that helps members make the most of their holiday savings. Log into Online Banking and click Additional Services, then click Open Savings Account. It’s that easy. Of course, you can always stop in at one of our offices, call us at 800.991.2221 or start your Christmas Savings account online today.