Although we’re still in the tail end of summer, now is the time to start preparing for the holidays. Not only will preparing early help you save time and reduce stress, but it can help you save your money. We want to help you use your money wisely and have the opportunity to enjoy your holidays without breaking the bank. Check out these quick tips to get your holiday plans started.

  1. Create a Budget – This task may sound intimidating, but it’s easier than you think and incredibly helpful. Follow these easy steps for your budget.
    • Decide How Much You Want to Spend – First calculate the total amount you want to spend this year. This could be a range, or a specific amount.
    • Make a List – Write out who will be receiving a gift. It’s easier if you put them in order of importance too.
    • Budget for Each Person – Divide the budget between each person.
  2. Plan Your Gifts – Now that you have a specific budget planned, decide what you want to buy within that budget. This will give you a chance to shop around, look for coupons, and possibly save a few bucks.
  3. Track Your Spending – As you buy your gifts, track how much you’re actually spending. Even if you have a plan, there could always be some variances. If you track your actual spending, you can make adjustments when they’re necessary. You can use your smartphone, computer, or even paper and pen to keep track.
  4. Start Saving Today – If you haven’t already, put some money aside each paycheck for the holidays. According to Investopia, in 2019 the average American spent almost $1,000 each on holiday gifts. If you have a large family, that number could be even higher. That’s a lot of cash to spend without any planning. Saving today could prevent the need to tighten the budget or charge your holiday shopping to a credit card.