With the calendar flipped to November, cooler weather in the forecast, and shopping lists being made it’s time to start thinking about holiday budgets. We partnered with Discover to share everything you need to know to get a holiday budget ready.
How To Get Holiday Budget Ready
Did you know there’s a Shopping Reminder Day? It always falls on November 26, which happens to be Thanksgiving this year. So, after you fill up on turkey, it’s time to make your list and check it twice-your holiday budget list that is. As we near the end of the year it’s tempting to think about spending, but it’s also a good time to consider the big picture. If we look at the big picture we won’t get caught up in the little stuff or be tempted to go over budget at the holidays.
Evaluate your overall financial picture: Should you cap off that savings account or make an extra donation at the holidays? The only way to know is to look at the big financial picture.
- Assess 2015 financial goals. Did you meet them? Are you close? See what you can do to get there before the end of the year.
- Check your net worth. Are there any adjustments you can make that will give you big wins this winter?
- Check bank balances and debt balances. Are you getting close to a goal?
- Consider giving not only because it’s in the spirit of the holidays, but for the tax-write off, too!
Set a budget: Once you’ve had a look at the big picture you can set a budget for the holidays.
- Make a list of gift recipients. Make a list and check it twice.
- Set a line item budget for each gift.
- Include the small items.
- Be sure to include a food budget for holiday parties and gatherings.
Shop smarter: Shop smarter with these ideas to help you get more for your dollar and even earn while you shop!
- Look for deals. While making your shopping list, keep a lookout for special holiday deals that can help you save. Discover Deals, Discover’s online shopping portal, is a great way for cardmembers to save. In fact, from November 1 through December 31, more than 65 merchants will offer holiday Cashback Bonus® for cardmembers that purchase items through Discover Deals.
- Use the right card. Choosing a credit card that offers Cashback rewards is another smart way to shop during the holidays. From October through December, Discover cardmembers are eligible to receive 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1,500 in combined purchases through Amazon.com, at department stores and clothing stores, when they sign-up.
- Use Cashback. Have you accrued Cashback? If so, now is the time to cash it in. Who knows you could have a ‘free’ holiday if you’ve really used your credit card to its’ full advantage.
Get Creative: Think about getting creative with your gift ideas to save money and make more meaningful gifts.
- Choose experiences. Instead of choosing stuff, try buying experiences instead. A date night at his favorite restaurant or a Broadway show for your mom.
- DIY your gifts. Try your hand at DIYing gifts. From a custom photo calendar to a DIY gift basket you can come up with all kinds of ideas. Look on Pinterest for inspiration.
- Do a gift exchange. Instead of giving gifts to everyone in the extended family try a gift exchange and set a spending limit.
- Try a ‘white elephant’ exchange. This is a fun way to have some silly fun with friends, neighbors, or relatives.
- Host a holiday gathering instead of gift giving: You may still spend the same amount, but instead of more stuff you’ll end up with great memories, a full belly, and a happy heart.
Now that you’ve evaluated your finances, set your budget, planned ways to shop smart, and thought about gift ideas it’s time to get busy! Get started now on your holiday to do list and you’ll have a budget-friendly, low stress holiday.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Discover. I was compensated for my time as part of the Discover Preferred Blogger Network. All opinions are my own.