With the holiday season just around the corner, the financial burden can be overwhelming for many Canadians. Statistics revealed that fewer consumers in Canada planned to set a firm budget for themselves in 2021 compared to previous holiday shopping seasons. Although this may be feasible for some people, others might be burdened with financial stress due to a lack of holiday budgeting.
Planning your holiday finances can take the stress out of the equation, allowing you to enjoy the season with your loved ones. Here are a few ways to prepare a realistic holiday budget to avoid financial stress.
List All Your Expenses
The holiday season is a joyous occasion, but it comes with a long list of expenses, from gifts to special meals and social gatherings. Listing all your holiday expenses ahead of time will ensure that you have an accurate idea of how much you might be looking to spend. This will help you better allocate funds to specific expenses and reduce the risk of last-minute shuffling.
When you have a better idea of your expenses, you can also determine how to reduce costs. For example, if you know that you’ll be hosting two separate holiday dinners and it will cost you more to combine the celebrations, you can better prepare for the occasion and save money by purchasing items in bulk.
Create a Savings Timeline
A savings timeline will help you save money leading up to the holidays, saving you from the hassle of spending your entire paycheck right before the holidays at once. Set up automatic transfers to your savings accounts ahead of time, ensuring you have saved money.
You can also take a personal online loan and create a timeline to pay off the debt when you are financially capable. Some reputable online lenders like FlexMoney make it simpler to access funds at the tip of your fingers. You can apply online, get pre-approved in minutes, and choose a customized plan to pay off the debt based on your comfort.
Planning one month ahead can save you from stress as it reduces the risk of going over your credit card limit or dealing with hefty overdraft fees when you need quick cash. A savings timeline will also help you monitor your spending and may encourage you to avoid unnecessary spending before the holidays.
Don’t Shop at the Last Minute
According to a recent Dentsu Navigator Holiday Shopping report, 42 percent of shoppers plan to buy gifts early to get better deals and expect to accumulate spending in October and November for the holiday season.
Leaving your shopping until the last minute can make the process more stressful and lead to higher costs. If you don’t have enough time to shop, you won’t be able to compare prices and find the store that offers the best deals. So, it’s important to shop for gifts, decorations, and perishable items ahead of time to avoid the added expenses and holiday season rush. You may also notice some stores offering pre-holiday sales that could be helpful when you’re trying to save money.
After you’ve prepared a holiday budget, keep track of it to ensure that you’re spending accordingly to plan. You can enjoy the holidays without any stress if you plan ahead!