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Did you see my post a few weeks ago about how to save money for the holidays? Well if you didn’t go ahead and read that too! But today I am chatting about ways to financially prep for the holidays. So this goes a little deeper into other things you should and could be doing for your finances to make sure that those post-holiday credit card bills and bank statements don’t send you into a January panic!
8 Ways To Financially Prep For The Holidays
Create a budget for everyone you are shopping for: This is KEY! I like to make a list of every single person I have to shop for. Even someone like a secret Santa or office buddy. I do this in Google Sheets or Excel. Then next to them put what your budget is. I like Google Sheets because I can access it easily on my phone as I am out and about shopping. I have a column with the person’s name, then what the budget is, then what I actually spend (more on that below). Then at the very bottom a total of everything I spend.
Keep track of your spending: This I also do in Google Sheets. Once I have purchased something for someone I go in and add it to the spent column. That way I can see all the time where my budget is at and how much I have spent on each person.
Reduce other expenses during the holidays: This is a great time to cut other expenses. We spend SO MUCH MONEY on gifts, food, decor, clothes, etc at holiday times that we don’t spend during other times of the year. So it’s a good time to make your coffee at home, cut cable, and work on a side hustle. This post I wrote on easy ways to save money can really come in handy this time of year.
Make your list and check it two or three or four times: I always try to start a list pretty early in the year of ideas for gifts. Especially people like my parents, husband, and kids who I am buying multiple gifts for. This way I can be on the lookout for deals throughout the year. We LOVE the brand, Green Toys for Liam and Amazon had a flash deal one day on a few of their items. This was back in September and we snagged a few Christmas presents for him super early. I also snagged my mom some cute Lululemon leggings last year in June when they were on sale! If you have a list of ideas and keep an eye out during the year not only are you finding the best deals but you also aren’t spending all the money at one time.
Create a holiday account: This is something that I think can be really beneficial. If you have an account you only use for holiday spending and you deposit money all year then you can spend solely from that account and it’s not such a huge drain to your other accounts. It may be too late for this, this year but it’s something good to keep in mind next year.
Go over your credit closely and keep an eye out: THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! Before the holidays go over your credit report. While I believe you should be doing this all year the holidays are an important time to really keep an eye on your credit. Identity theft is at such a high during the holidays and so many scams go on (more on that below) and your credit COULD take such a hit. Having a sit down with Lexington Law to go over your credit report, and see what can be done to improve it is a great way to get your finances in order before the holidays. Their free consultation is so helpful and even with the free consult they are able to point things out to you, you may not be aware of. Trust me you have nothing to lose!
Don’t sign up for ANY new cards: I feel like the holidays are the time where stores are REALLY pushing us to sign up for in-store cards and promising big rewards. Please read my post on credit cards and what to know about them before you sign up for new cards. Remember that when you sign up for a card it pulls a hard inquiry on your credit and can really ding you.
Don’t fall for holiday scams: The holidays are a HUGE time for scams. Lexington Law has an amazing post on the top 3 holiday scams out there. This is when people can take a huge hit to their credit and risk the most identify theft. It’s so easy to get so wrapped up that we don’t pay as close of attention to things like email scams, phony job postings, or credit card scammers. Be aware!
I hope this post can help you get in a positive financial mindset for the holidays and beyond. Be sure to read my other financial posts with Lexington Law because they have TONS of great information!
Which of these ways to financially prep for the holidays was the biggest take away for you?