It's finally autumn and the holidays are around the corner. This is the time when people begin shopping for toys, clothing and the latest gadgets. But what happens when you find your pockets a little tighter and you wallet a little smaller, don't be weary; help is on the way. Here are some quick money saving tips that can help you beat the holiday blues and find a little room in your wallet left for you.
Quick Tip #1 Saving Money
One of the best ways to save money is to create a special savings holiday fund. It is very easy to do. All you need to do is set up an account with your banking institution or credit union. If your bank or credit union does not participate in holiday funds, then create a savings account instead. Either way you will be saving money. Then set up direct deposit with your job and allow a portion of your check to be deposited into your holiday or savings fund. Also, create a savings goal that you would like to spend for the holidays.
If you're not sure how much money you would like to have taken out of your check, consider saving by percentages like 10 percent, 30 percent, etc., or just set up a certain amount that you feel comfortable with. The trick is to not save where it feels like a burden, but save where you don't miss the money that is coming out of your check.
Like the saying goes, out of sight out of mind, it's the same principle.
What you don't see coming out, you tend to forget.
It's best to start saving early because you'll get the most out of your savings or holiday fund. The later you wait you might as well try again for next year. After you reach your savings goal, all you have to do is designate a time and start shopping.
Quick Tip #2 Budgeting
Create a list and set a total spending budget. After you create your budget, split it among the people on your list so that it becomes a budget for each person. For example, if you are willing to send $100 and 5 people are on your list, divide the amount by the total number of people and then you would have a budget for each person.
Next, do your best to stay within that budget. Shop around for online deals and special savings like door busters, BOGO's, and sales. Don't forget to compare prices with other stores. Around this time, stores begin competitive pricing. Keep in mind, they want your business and will create attractive sales to entice the consumer to buy. Doing your homework before you shop can save you time as well as money.
Quick Tip #3 Cash whenever possible
It's easy to grab a credit card and swipe it. But charging items on a credit card has many dangers.
For starters, the interest fees are extremely high if you don't pay on time. You'll end up paying more than what the gift was worth. Consider using cash whenever possible and leave your credit cards at home. By doing this, you will be forced to stay within your budget and reconsider your item purchases if your total goes beyond the limit of cash on hand.
Another thing you can do is (especially for people who like using credit cards) to put your money on one of those Visa or American express gift cards. This way, you will have the look and feel of a credit card without actually using a credit card.
Quick Tip #4 Plan Ahead
Before you begin your holiday shopping, survey your gift list and prioritize your spending. A really good idea that you can do is start your holiday spending in July and spread your list over the summer and fall months. Try to save your heavy electronic expenses for Black Friday where there is a limited amount of time to get electronics at huge discounted prices and purchase your lower priced items other five months.
By the time December comes, you'll either be finishing up your shopping list or relaxing while the other shoppers are standing in ridiculously long lines, crazy parking, and picking over whatever is available for last minute shoppers.