Smarter holiday spending

It’s prime time for holiday shopping and events. Even though it can be stressful and hairy, I do take pleasure in gift giving and a good celebration. So, what really gets to me? Celebrating the holidays in style with my limited resources – can you relate?

Luckily, I’ve found a way to tackle my obstacle and make it more manageable. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make a list of people you are getting gifts for and make notes on what you would like to get each person. This will help deter you from spontaneous purchases. The Chia pig is cute, but does mom really need another Chia pet?
  • Set a budget. Budgeting and shopping? Yes, they can and do go hand in hand. A budget is helpful when you have a goal in mind, like a nice leaf blower for dad. Setting and sticking to a budget can also help you stay out of debt during this time of high spending. Use tools like this budget worksheet (PDF)* and My Money Map to keep you on track.
  • Do your research! Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us there are still plenty of great holiday sales and promotions. Do price comparisons online before you go out and buy. Watch for friends and family events, daily promotions, and tap into rewards from retailers, airlines and credit cards. If you are a Wells Fargo Credit or Debit card holder check out these deals and check back often, the discounts do change.
  • Lavish gifts aren’t the only way to celebrate the holidays. Instead of giving gifts to each other, consider giving to charity. It could be buying things for those in need and delivering them together or donating to a charity that’s important to one of your friends or family.
  • Not in the mood for a big meal or gift exchange where you end up with yet another pair of socks? Volunteer together! Pick a day and get together with friends and family to volunteer locally (for whatever cause you support). It’s a great way to spend time together while giving your time to those who need the extra help.
  • If you’re getting together to eat, drink and be merry, consider a fundraiser party. See if a local business would host your party and perhaps donate a portion of sales to a local cause. You can also up the ante by asking your party goers to pay a “cover charge” which can be donated at the end of the night to a cause of choice.

Whatever you choose to do to celebrate this season, enjoy and be merry!

Editor’s note: Help us to welcome Trang, the newest member of our blog team!


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One Response to Smarter holiday spending

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great tips, thanks!

The Student LoanDown

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