What kind of bells are you hearing this holiday season? If it’s warning bells instead of jingle bells, you’ve come to the right place. We all fall into the trap of impulse buys—new holiday décor, something perfect for a friend who wasn’t originally on your list, or something on incredible sale—and these, ultimately, only lead to the crippling guilt of overspending. But don’t fret just yet, below are five ways to prevent holiday impulse purchases, and stick with what you want and need this season.
- Create a Holiday Budget: Not sure how much to spend on your friends and family this year? A great way to figure out the exact amount you can comfortably expend this season is to create a holiday budget. On average, more than 37% of Americans spend up to 1,000 dollars during the holiday season. Don’t fall into the trap! Try the 50-30-20 budget: 50% to needs, 30% wants, and 20% allotted to debt and other necessary payments. This way, you maintain responsibility with your money all while enjoying the holiday financial-stress free.
- Skip the Fancy Wrapping Paper: It’s getting thrown out anyway. It is estimated that collectively Americans spend up to 2.6 billion dollars solely on wrapping paper. A quick tip is to buy it at discount stores such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Amazon, or Walmart. Want to save even more money? Get crafty with your wrapping and use brown paper bags, newspaper clippings, or magazine pages. Not only will the gifts look unique, but skipping the fancy paper will save you money, too.
- Say No to the Little Treat: There is no doubt we all love treating ourselves to something nice around the holidays, especially when it is on sale. We tell ourselves that it will never be this low again… But the truth is, if it isn’t a necessity, then it is an impulse purchase, and therefore, not a bargain.
- Reuse Holiday Décor: Next time you want to decorate for the holidays, think about reusing last year’s décor. On average, nearly $269 will be spent on new holiday decorations this year. Last year’s décor will still evoke the pure magic that is the holiday season without breaking the bank.
- Memories over Money: It is the season of giving, but those gifts don’t always have to be physical. Take a walk through your neighborhood and look at the Christmas lights—or if you’re feeling like going out, find a free Christmas light display in a town near you. Host a family game night or watch your favorite holiday movie. Holiday cheer doesn’t have to come with a price, and when you look back on this season, remember the good times had, and not the debt that was increased with impulsive buys.
The 2022 holiday financial season doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right budget, it is possible to relax and enjoy time with family and friends without extra financial pressure. One last holiday financial tip is to start saving at the beginning of the new year. Each month, set aside an allotted amount for the holidays. That way, when the next holiday season rolls around, some of the expenses are already covered, allowing for an even more enjoyable season. However, if you are having trouble maintaining the holiday budget you made for yourself, check out our Christmas Club account! Let us at HopeSouth Credit Union help you in making the next holiday season less stressful already by getting a head start and begin saving today.