Rein in your budget: 5 Budgeting Strategies for the Holidays

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This year, master the art of holiday budgeting

Every year, it seems like the holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier. According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) holiday forecast, about 40 percent of shoppers start buying holiday gifts by Halloween.

The longer shopping season means that the holidays are a crucial time of year to rein in budgets and aim for smarter spending. With a few simple money-saving strategies, the holidays don’t have to break the bank and can still be the most wonderful time of the year. Here are five strategies to help you with budgeting for the holidays.

  1. Make a list (and check it twice).

    Itemize all your holiday expenses and assign a dollar value to each, no matter how small. Once you have a total, decide if it is a realistic holiday budget. If the sum is too high, go back and make adjustments. Find a number and stick to it.

  2. Start early and spread out expenses.

    Take advantage of sales and promotions throughout the year to plan for holiday gift purchases. Instead of condensing all holiday shopping into December, consider ticking holiday purchases off the list in phases. That way, the spending will be more manageable.

  3. Search for deals and opportunities to price match.

    Put that smartphone to good use. In-store or online, research hot holiday items and shop for the best price. Some retailers are even willing to price match, so take the time to snag those deals.

  4. Have a plan for paying off holiday debt.

    Pay off the most expensive debt first. Credit cards or loans with the highest interest rates get top billing. Pay more than the minimum payment to start making a dent in the total balance. Pledge to do this month after month and watch that post-holiday balance shrink.

  5. Keep tabs on credit card spending and schedule automatic payments.

    Credit cards are a great resource to help manage holiday spending and finance larger purchases. Just make sure to keep the spending in check and pay down the balance as soon as possible. Set up payments at the same time each month to keep interest rates low and credit scores high.

 

Wrap up the holiday season with a firm grasp on your financials with these holiday budgeting tips. Check out more of Comenity’s financial resources.

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