5 tips for a budget-friendly holiday season

With the holiday season fast approaching, you might be feeling anxious about your plans – and your budget. It is common for individuals to rack up debt with all of the holiday spending across New Mexico and the country. However, if you already face financial stress, how can you keep that stress and debt from becoming overwhelming?

Here are some tips to help you stick to a budget and save money.

1. Plan ahead

It is critical to actually create a budget for the holidays. Make sure the budget is realistic and be specific about:

  • What you will spend money on
  • What your spending limit is
  • What you can cut back on to save for the holidays

Writing down your goals and how you will accomplish them within your budget can help you to stick to it.

2. Coordinate with family

It is never easy to talk about financial struggles. Even so, it might be helpful to discuss holiday plans with your family that can reduce the financial burdens on everyone. For example, planning gift swaps and exchange games can be fun for the family, and help you save money in the long run.

3. Get creative with gifts

Sometimes, the best gifts do not come from the store. Getting creative and making thoughtful homemade or handmade gifts can help relieve the financial stress of the holiday season.

For example, having your children create gifts for their grandparents or extended family members can help you save, but also make meaningful presents and memories.

4. Stick to cash

If you do have a list of gifts you want to buy, it can help to limit spending to using only cash. This can help you:

  • Track how much you are spending
  • Avoid overspending with a credit card

Calculating how much cash you may need when preparing your budget can help you prepare for your holiday shopping and stick to your budget.

5. Keep an eye out for sales

Many stores roll out sales just in time for the holiday season. To maintain a budget, it can help if you:

  • Watch for sales, such as Black Friday events
  • Peruse the sale and clearance sections within the stores for price cuts
  • Look for online coupons

Taking advantage of sales – even outside of the holiday season – can be a critical strategy to help you save money.