With about 12 weeks left before Christmas, there’s still time to save for the upcoming holiday. For many people, this is a fun-filled but expensive time of year. Even if you didn’t set up a Christmas Club account at your bank or credit union, you still have time to set aside a bit of money from each paycheck to help keep your budget stable throughout the upcoming festivities.
Advantages of saving for Christmas expenses
Many families choose to charge their Christmas purchases and expenses that don’t fit into their regular budget to a credit card. While this is convenient, it can cause financial hardship during the early months of the new year.
Take a quick look at the amount of money you spent during the holiday season last year. Divide that amount by 12 and see if you can set aside this amount each week between now and Christmas. Even if you can’t save enough money during the next few weeks to cover your holiday expenses this year, reducing the amount of money you charge to credit cards will help free up more room in your budget during the new year.
Alternatives to using credit cards this Christmas
If your finances need a boost this year, but you’d like to avoid using high-interest credit cards, consider a personal loan. A short-term loan offers the advantage of a fixed interest rate and set monthly payments that you can work into your budget more easily than credit card payments.
You also have the option of trimming your holiday spending this year. The best time to do this is before you start shopping and get swept up in the retail holiday spirit. Make a list of everyone you want to shop for and write down what you’d like to buy. Start shopping for the best deals, now.
Learning to manage a budget becomes a fairly simple task with a bit of practice. Take a look at The Basics of Budgeting to get started.