Umm hi, did you know it’s the holiday season?
Yeah. I’ve been in denial that it’s officially that season mainly because it’s always my busy season and usually the most stressful for me so I just have tried not to think about it. Today it hit me. Literally, looked at my calendar and had a freak out moment. Thanksgiving is in 3 weeks!!!!!!
Holiday Spending Tips
That being said, I figured today was a good day to talk about our next “Financially FIIT” post. Ben and I are talking about all things holiday spending. We met a few weeks ago to go over my budget again because I need to make some contributions to my retirement account before the end of the year. Well, that made me start thinking about how much I tend to spend during the holidays. Anyone else have that problem?
We are going to give you all a few tips to implement ASAP before you get into the holiday mode. I promise if you start doing these things now it’ll save you from waking up in January with a financial hangover. How about we all make a pact to do implement these holiday spending tips??
4 WAYS TO BUDGET FOR HOLIDAY SPENDING
Say “NO” to one thing every day
Telling yourself “no” is the absolute hardest thing for me… Anyone else? This holiday season I’m enabling a new “no” rule where every single day I have to say “no” to one urge I have to spend money I don’t need to spend.
1 – NO extra visits to Starbucks
2 – NO random Target trips
3 – NO “oh that’s SO cute I need it” moments
4 – NO to all the holiday goodies at Trader Joe’s (probably will help me not gain weight too haha)
Basically you get the picture, right? Whatever little things you think aren’t a big deal say “no” to them this holiday season. It’s the hardest time of year to do it, but you can DO IT.
Start your holiday shopping now (do your research)
Y’all… I’m the queen of procrastinating when it comes to doing my holiday shopping for my family. I think it’s because I do my holiday “Gift Guides” so early in the season I get consumed with what I think are good gifts for my audience and then forget to think about actual things my family would want as a present. Also, my family is horrible at telling each other what we want for Christmas mainly because none of us actually need ANYTHING.
That brings me to my point for this holiday season… Make your Christmas list now! Like seriously tonight. Sales have started earlier and earlier each year so I know for a fact you will be able to find some better deals than Black Friday now.
Also, if you don’t have a ton of money to spend on a nice gift then think about creating an experience as a gift. I’m serious! Think about what each person in your life truly loves… My dad loves going out to our farm and last year I got him a s’mores set but we didn’t have the fire pit built yet. Soooooooo…. This year I’m thinking I’ll buy a really nice bottle of wine and spend an evening with him making s’mores by the fire and just talking. It may take you more time to think of an experiential gift for family members, but it’ll mean more to them and probably SAVE YOU MORE MONEY.
Or sign up for websites that will send you price notifications on retailers you shop at frequently. RetailMeNot.com is a great site for lots of savings! I personally wish there was a site where I could add items into a category for each member of my family and then get notifications when that item goes on sale at different retailers…. Does that exist???
Lastly, if they don’t offer FREE SHIPPING then forget it.
Don’t wake up with a financial hangover (re-evaluate your budget)
So this was a big reality check for me last month. Since I’m self-employed I pay a lot in freaking taxes. This year, I’m trying to pay quarterly payments. So last month I had to write a nice little check, and I’ll owe another chunk in January. Not to mention I’m actually trying to be responsible and make payments into my retirement account. Also, that’s why I hired a financial advisor to keep me accountable.
After Ben and I looked over my budget recently I knew I needed to lock it up in some areas of my spending habits. When I wrote out all of my expenses and looked at the last little bit of debt I owed it was not a fun feeling. Damn that Nordstrom credit card…
Pay with cash as much as you can
I never have cash with me. Really never. I put everything I can on my credit cards… BUT, I pay them off every month because I have disciplined myself. However, like I mentioned above about having a problem saying “no” to little things around the holidays. That’s why I’m going to try to implement the “envelope system” again. Have you heard of it?
You make envelopes with categories for everything you spend money on each month. Then you put cash in each envelope and leave the credit cards at home. It’s crazy hard to give cash away over swiping your credit card. It sucks really.
Although…it did help my eating out (aka eating too much) and break my wine habit a bit.
That’s all I’ve got this time for “Financially FIIT”! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you enjoyed about this post or what you would like to hear more about during this series!
These are great tips. Thank you for sharing and for posting this early in the season before it feels like it is “too late”! Do you already have a post on hiring a financial adviser (when to do it, how to find one, any fees, etc.)? If not, I’d be very interested!
Great post and tips! I think this is one of my favorite series of yours, especially since I’m trying to buckle down on my budget. The envelope is a great method as well as writing down what you spend each week. It makes a big difference if you can visibly see your spending for the week. I truly believe no one should go in debt over the holidays