Various polls that were recently undertaken have revealed that the majority of Americans intend spending between $800 and $900 when purchasing Christmas gifts this year. With Christmas being the largest of the gift-giving holidays, it makes sense that more than 20% of retailer’s sales are made during November and December.
When January rolls around, more than half of the shoppers surveyed noted that they had regrets about spending so much during December. However, this need not be the case if you plan ahead with regards to the financial side of your festive season shopping. Below are a few ways in which you can do this.
Determine how much you can Afford to Spend
Before setting foot in the mall or browsing any online shopping websites, establish a realistic budget for purchasing gifts and spending on other holiday-related products and services such as food, decorations, travel expenses if you’re visiting relatives and even gift wrap.
Divide your budget into various categories to see whether you’ll have enough money available to pay for everything – without resorting to your credit card. If the numbers don’t add up, cuts may need to be made to some categories in your spending plan.
Establish Expectations Quickly
If your holiday budget is smaller than it has been in previous years, you’ll need to either cut down on the amount of gifts being purchased or spend less on each recipient’s gift – but it’s crucial that you make your intentions in this regard known as early as possible. For instance, if you usually purchase costly gifts for nieces and nephews, let your siblings and in-laws know that your gifts may not be as lavish as they have been in previous years. This will help prevent any ill feelings when the time comes to open gifts.
Don’t Fall Prey to Retail Tricks
Even the savviest shoppers are known to overspend during the holidays – especially when so-called special offers are being pushed at the end of every aisle.
Although some retailers may have genuinely good offers on items you’re considering purchasing, many of them mark the items down that have been slow movers during the year. This allows them to make way for new stock when January rolls around.
Offers such as Buy One get One Free (BOGOF), buy three and pay for two and xx% discount when spending more than a predetermined amount can all cause you to spend more than you’d initially budgeted. Always ensure that you shop with a list, and only purchase the items you’d initially intended adding to your cart in the first place.
Once you’ve created your shopping list, ensure that you search online for any discounts or coupons that could help reduce the cost of your spending as well.
Although budgeting for the festive season can seem boring and overwhelming, you’ll be glad that you did so – especially when the New Year rolls around and you don’t have to spend the next few months paying off your Christmas debt.
When it comes to saving for retirement, a number of individuals claim that they either don’t have the time to plan for this part of their lives or that they need some form of assistance to get started. If you find that you’re someone who is also putting off saving and making every excuse imaginable, you may be able to get started quickly and easily by using any one (or more) of the apps mentioned below.
One of the main reasons why so many individuals don’t invest money is because they don’t completely understand how the process works or they feel anxious about taking that first step.
This app works by rounding up your spending to the closest dollar and putting the leftover change into an investment of sorts. Getting started with Acorn is easy – all you have to do is link a checking account and credit card and the app will do the rest for you. Several individuals have stated that they enjoy this form of investment because it’s easy to work with and literally only a few pennies at a time are being invested.
This app comes with a fee-free debit card that is directly linked to a dedicated checking account and it has the ability to perform a range of budgeting functions on your behalf. It will subtract any incoming bills, allowing you to set various financial goals and keep you up to date regarding whether you’re on your way to achieving them or not.
Simple also lets you know how much money you have left for investing, ensuring that you don’t end up spending funds that have been put aside for emergency use.
Stash allows you to get started on your investment journey without the need to have a lot of money available. In fact, you’re able to invest amounts of as little as $5 and a short questionnaire not only helps determine an investment-related risk level that you’re comfortable with; it provides you with various investment options to choose from at the same time.
This app allows you to be in total control of your investment so that you can make choices that you’re comfortable with along the way.
This app links directly to your chosen bank account and you receive regular text messages about how your balance is changing. In addition, it informs you of any frivolous spending habits you have but may not realize.
Another feature of Digit is that it will provide you with realistic recommendations with regards to the amount of money you could be saving and if desired, you can even set the app up in such a way that it automatically transfers a predetermined amount of money into a dedicated savings account daily, weekly or monthly.
If you’re brand new to investing or you would like to find out more about the options that are available to help grow your money as much as possible, speak to our team today.Continue reading