Many people find themselves completely financially drained by the end of December, which is a pretty depressing way to start the New Year. It’s difficult enough to fight off the post-holiday, January blues, but it’s even tougher if you’re broke.
But the good news is, that with just a little bit of planning, the holidays can be festive and debt-free.
Before you go out shopping for anything, have your entire festive season’s scope mapped out in a document or notepad. From groceries to gifting and travel, record everything you need and what you’re expecting to spend on each. Having a plan means you know what to stick to when you’re faced with opportunities to overspend or impulse buy.
Every holiday season we’re bombarded with offers, from one-day-only black Friday sales to cyber Monday deals. These are great ways to save on gifts and necessities, but it’s important to scrutinize each purchase. For example, if there is an offer of 3 for the price of 2 or 2 for 20% off, then always work out the unit price to see what you’re really saving. Also assess whether you truly need to buy that item in bulk right now using your December budget?
Before you start your shopping frenzy, follow your favorite retailers on their social media channels. Many brands release amazing discounts and deals exclusively to their Facebook and Twitter followers. What’s more, they usually offer big giveaways and competitions too, so you might get lucky and get a little something for free as well.
Keep an Eye Out
The end of year is a great time to keep your eye on your favorite supermarkets and online stores. Join their mailing lists and stay up to date on who is offering free shipping or similar deals for the festive shopping rush. Once you’ve planned your purchases, as discussed above, you’ll be able to identify any deal that will save you money on things you already know you have to buy.
If possible, avoid the lure of going into credit or spending more credit than you can afford on festivities. If there is no way around it, then really assess what the best credit card products are on the market at the moment. Compare their terms and interest charges, both in the short and the long-term. Whenever possibly, pay back the debt within the usual interest-free window to avoid accruing too many charges.
With just a few of these handy tips, you can get ahead of the spending curve and stick to your budget over the festive season rush. Whether you hit up those black Friday deals or bargain hunt online, it’s well worth the effort now – to avoid that January debt hangover later.