November 24, 2020
Searching for the perfect gift for a loved one this holiday season? Gifts come in all shapes, sizes and prices. It is important to have a spending plan to avoid stressful debt that can cause headaches this holiday season and beyond. Here are seven tips to help avoid holiday spending headaches this year:
- Plan ahead. Before you start shopping, develop a realistic budget for holiday expenses. Figure out your bottom-line number and set aside holiday cash in increments. If you need to use your credit card, think about what you can afford to pay back.
- Keep track of other costs. Don’t forget costs beyond gifts, like postage, gift wrap, decorations, greeting cards, food, and travel. Keep in mind the end of the year is a time when large annual or semi-annual costs like car insurance, life insurance and property taxes arise.
- Make a list and check it twice. Try to be as accurate as possible, noting how much you want to spend on each. If you’re thinking about donating to charities, factor in the total amount you plan to donate and how much each charity will receive.
- Shop early and space out purchases. Avoid shopping while rushed or under pressure, as that can lead to overspending. Consider comparing prices online prior to purchasing anything in a store. Before you head to the cashier or online checkout, make sure your purchase is within the budget you set.
- Avoid impulsive spending decisions. Finding a great sale on something you’ve been wanting can easily throw your budget off course. It is important to stay strong and stick to your budget. Don’t be blinded by limited-time incentives geared toward getting you to spend more.
- Save your receipts and get acknowledgements for charitable donations. Not only will you need receipts for possible returns, but you’ll also need them to keep track of what you’ve spent this holiday season. Knowing how much you spent can help you plan for next year. If you have made a donation to charity it is important to keep the acknowledgement letter for charitable donations so you can receive a tax deduction in the spring.
Also, to help keep you on track with your budget this holiday season, try our money management services. You’ll be able to view all your accounts, monitor where and how you spend, and set goals and view your progress.
On behalf of OceanFirst Bank, we wish you a safe and wonderful holiday season.