Your 2017 Holiday Spending Plan | Refresh Financial

Your 2017 Holiday Spending Plan

Holiday Spending Plan

How to avoid post-holiday credit debt this holiday season

How much do you spend during Christmas holidays? Did you know that the average Canadian spends about $1500 every year during the holiday shopping season? For some, this can lead to excess debt and can make the holiday season a stressful time of year. After assessing the damage, you might find that you'll be paying off your Christmas debt well into next year! To prevent this from happening, we've created some pointers and tips to help you make a holiday spending plan to avoid post-holiday credit debt this holiday season!

There are many ways to save money this holiday and ensure that you only spend what you can reasonably afford. It’s simple: make a holiday spending plan and stick to it.

Here are some pointers on getting started:

1. Plan for family gatherings ahead of time  

This way you’re not rushing around at the last minute shopping for your holiday functions. Giving yourself time to prepare will allow you to find cheaper supplies and re-think any gifts you might be giving at the function. It will also ensure your holiday budget is accurate.

2. Create a holiday spending budget you can afford

What makes the holiday season so special is the people you get to spend it with, not how much money you spend. It's important to be realistic with your spending guidelines, so look at what you can actually afford and then get creative if you have to. Don't feel you need to spend lots in order to enjoy the holidays.

Related Article - Not used to planning a budget? No sweat! We’ve compiled “8 Tips for Successful Budgeting” in order to make planning your budget much easier.

3. Create a list of meal plans, gifts, and other expenses in advance

If you have a good idea of what you’ll need to buy ahead of time, your budget will be far more accurate, and accurate budgets are easier to stick to! Being prepared in this area gives you ample time to shop for the best prices and to ask guests to contribute a dish. You'll also have time to back out of any plans that cause you to go over your budget.

4. Comparison shop for the best prices online and in-store

If you plan long enough in advance, you’ll buy yourself some time to make sure you’re getting the best price on everything you need to buy for the holiday season. Check out fliers and coupon websites for even more discounts on the things you plan to purchase. Don’t be afraid to buy something gently used over something brand new, especially when you’re looking at big-ticket items. Most importantly, scrap anything you can’t afford at regular price and can’t find at a lower price.

Related Article - The internet is a great place to find amazing deals and info on building credit. It can also be a dangerous place if we’re not careful. This holiday season, try to avoid these online shopping scams.

5. Take advantage of holiday sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are your best friend. Only do this if you’re actually going to save money, though. Do not use these sales as an excuse to spend. Check out our guide to surviving Black Friday with your credit intact.

6. Have a plan to pay off the post-holiday credit card debt

This is one of the most important aspects when it comes to holiday budgeting. To make sure you don’t spend more than you can pay back, you need to know what your holiday spending will look like for your future monthly expenses. It means that you carefully consider how much financial wiggle room you have on a monthly basis. The key to this step is to be proactive with your holiday debt, and one great way to do this is to set up automatic payments.

May your future with credit be merry and bright

As with any budget, the key here is to make sure you stick to it. Don’t make the mistake of tying the success of your holiday season to how much you spend. There are millions of people the globe over who fully enjoy the holiday season with a fraction of your budget!

Don't sacrifice your credit for the holiday season because you're trading enjoyment and peace of mind for stress. Being financially disciplined will allow a smooth and stress-free transition into the new year without loads of debt.

So make your budget, stick to it and have a wonderful holiday season!

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