Now that Pumpkin Spice Lattes have arrived at Starbucks, fall really is right around the corner, which means the holidays aren’t far behind. It may seem too soon to even start thinking about all the gift-giving, but planning now can help your budget be ready. According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer spends around $1,000 during the holiday season and if you want to avoid holiday financial stress, these tips can help.
- Map out goals- Decide how much you want to budget for holiday spending, including gifts, food and travel. Use a savings calculator like Bankrate or Nerdwallet to figure out how much you need to set aside to stay on target and reach that total goal by the holidays.
- Decide where that money will come from- After you create your budget, apps like Mint can help you track exactly where your money goes.
- Get the whole family involved- Research shows people are much less likely to overspend when they only use cash, so try “envelope budgeting.” When you get paid set aside cash in an envelope for each of your holiday spending categories. Keep adding to it and when the holidays arrive, your money will be ready and waiting in cold, hard cash.