A very merry Christmas can lead to a not-so-happy New Year if you blow the holiday budget this season. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers expect to spend $807 on gifts, decorations, cards, and everything that is holly and/or jolly each year. Here are a few easy steps to set and stick to a holiday budget. You can do it!
- Set a limit: Budget holiday funds from your disposable income. Holiday shoppers often charge their credit cards. If you spend the estimated $807 holiday budget, with minimum payments and 18% APR, you’ll be paying an extra $305 in interest and it will take 45 months! That’s almost 4 more holiday seasons! Start saving funds now, and charge as little to your card as possible.
- Don’t just budget for gifts: 47¢ for first class mail doesn’t seem so bad… until you are mailing out 75 Christmas cards. How do we even know half of these people?! Don’t forget to budget for things like gas, wrapping paper, food, drinks, travel, and charity contributions this holiday.
- Make your list, check it twice: For immediate family, figure out what they would like this holiday season. For each item set a “No more than X” budget per item. Never underestimate the power of low-cost baked goods or homemade ornaments from the kids. Gifts from the heart are inexpensive and often mean more to the recipient than anything off the shelves of a big box store.
- Sale away: You can never start holiday shopping to early! Monitor the local ads and utilize Black Friday and Cyber Monday to save as much as possible on your purchases. You can sign up for email alerts from retailers to make sure you never miss a big sale!
- This is a gift emergency: There’s nothing worse than receiving a gift from someone and having nothing for them in return. Purchase a small, generic gift to have wrapped and on-hand just in case. Everyone loves calendars, tins of cookies, candles, or gift cards.
Queensborough National Bank and Trust can help you with all your financial needs this holiday season and beyond! We provide personal services like checking, loans, and wealth management services. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at (478) 625-2000.
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