We’re approaching what’s often dubbed the most wonderful time of the year. While many Americans are excited about the holidays and are mapping out their Black Friday shopping plans, countless others are worried about the seasonal impact on their wallet. It can sometimes be a choice between paying a bill or giving a gift.
A new Gallup poll shows Americans plan to spend more this holiday season. In fact, many adults admit they will likely spend just over $1000 on gifts this year, up 4% from 2017, according to Business Wire.
It’s no secret that many of us overspend at the holidays, even if we create a budget. Last year, a Coinstar survey of 2000 people found that 65% said they set a budget, but 77% expected to exceed that amount.
Don’t let the Grinch steal your holiday cheer! Consider the following tools designed to keep you on track with our holiday spending.
A Reliable Approach
It may seem outdated, but the trusty old envelope is still a good way to budget for the holidays. Withdraw a specific dollar amount — say, $5 per pay period — put it in an envelope, and store it in a place you won’t forget, but also won’t be tempted to draw from. Use this cash when it’s time to start crossing names off your gift list. You’ll avoid worrying about over-drafting the bank account and paying interest on your credit card.
If “old school” isn’t your thing, you can save the high-tech way, too. With the My $ Manager tool in Axiom Bank’s AxiomGO mobile app, you can budget for the holidays as early as you want. Think of it as the digital envelope approach.
From the Heart
You don’t have to be Picasso, Michelangelo or even a famous poet to give creatively. Sometimes the best gift comes directly from the heart. Put thought into every gift. Spend time writing a love letter, or make a donation to a charitable organization on behalf of a friend or family member.
Save by Watching Your Spending
Do you know how much you spend on an average day? Do you buy your breakfast, lunch or dinner? That could be an extra $30-35 (or more) in your pocket. At the end of the week that could add up to $150. At the end of the month that’s $600.
It doesn’t matter when you start holiday shopping. Being on the look-out year-round can eliminate last-minute stress, and spreading out your spending won’t be such a hit to the bank account. Be sure to keep your eyes open whenever you visit a store; you never know what treasure may be sitting on a shelf.
Photo Credit: axiom bank