They call it the time for giving rather than receiving, and I would say that is a line that has heeded over the years.Â The busiest shopping week of the year is the one leading up to Christmas.Â I whole heartedly encourage you to give to family, friends, and charity, but I also encourage you to do it with a bit of self restraint.Â Just because you are feeling generous it doesn’t mean it’s OK to go into debt.Â You need to be responsible and save money for Christmas and I will give you some tips on how to do just that.
Determining an appropriate budget for holiday shopping is extremely important.Â People often underestimate the financial need this time of year, but it really isn’t all that difficult.Â All you really need to do is consider the level of spending over the previous couple of years.Â This will give you a great indicator of what to expect this year.Â Next, simply set a maximum that you plan on spending in total, and make you stick to it!Â Of course I encourage you to make this amount reasonable.
I also encourage you to setup a separate bank account with the sole purpose of Christmas shopping in mind.Â This could be an account that you setup at the beginning of the year and direct deposit a portion of your paycheck each month.Â Some credit unions even offer holiday savings accounts for 1 year periods with more aggressive interest rates.Â Just make sure you choose the best easy access savings account just in case you need to tap into for an emergency during the year.
Make the most of the money you have budgeted for spending.Â Don’t just go out with the purpose of spending the money, but rather, spend it wisely!Â You might be in the habit of buying gift cards for some people, but instead of spending $100 on a $100 gift card you can go online and buy discounted cards.Â For instance, a $100 gift card to your relatives favorite restaurant might only cost your $90.Â These deals aren’t especially difficult to come by, they just take a little thought and research and it can save you a ton of money.Â Also, while I fully advocate online shopping, I also encourage you to search out online coupon codes for those purchases.Â It’s a simple matter of opening up another browser and doing a search for that specific store.
Regardless of your holiday spending habits, consider my tips above and give them a shot, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.