Plan Ahead for Next Year’s Holiday Budget
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Plan Ahead for Next Year’s Holiday Budget

Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Are you struggling to stay within your holiday budget this year? That’s understandable. Many people end up spending more money during the holidays than they planned to. This problem can be prevented if you plan ahead for next year’s holiday budget.

According to State Farm, consumers spend $1,2226 on their end-of-the-year shopping. In addition, American consumers spend about $289 over the Thanksgiving weekend (which includes Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday).

Begin planning out your holiday budget for next year right now. Figure out how much you spent on gifts, food, and travel. Start putting away money now so you won’t have to go into debt next holiday season. Don’t forget to save a little extra for things like cards and wrapping paper.

Another strategy that can help cut costs next year is to use a prepaid debit card instead of credit cards. State Farm says that 23% of consumers take four to six months to pay of their credit cards after holiday spending.

You can control your spending by limiting yourself to the amount that you put on a prepaid debit card. Doing so forces you to make conscious choices about not only what you buy but also how much you are willing to spend on each item. You are going to have to comparison shop to see who has the best price.

That may sound frustrating, but it is worth it. Plan ahead, and you may be able to avoid using your credit cards. Your new year doesn’t have to start with a massive amount of credit card debt!

State Farm says you should wait 2 days between when you see something online that you want to buy and when you actually buy it. Doing so prevents impulse shopping – which can really get expensive over time. It also gives you time to see if the item is selling for less somewhere else and to really think about the potential purchase.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.