It’s often easy to overspend while gearing up for winter and its accompanying holidays. The last thing you want, however, is to find yourself broke at the end of the year. It’s easy to put things like budgeting off until, say, January 1, but it’s a rather unwise approach. Instead, follow these tips to ensure you stay on budget.
1. Create a holiday budget and stick to it.
Start by creating a list of all the people for whom you need to get a gift. Then, create a budget and begin brainstorming gift ideas. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to save money.
2. Cut back on everyday spending.
By auditing your everyday spending, you can make budgeting for the holidays easier on yourself. Look for areas where you may be able to cut back a bit.
3. Cook seasonal meals.
This time of year, seasonal foods like apples, squash, and many root vegetables are in abundance. This means cooking both hearty meals and deserts is more affordable right now. Soups and casseroles both make for fantastic, inexpensive fall meals that are also super easy to reheat.
4. Wait for the big sales.
Getting a head start on holiday shopping is great, but waiting for major fall sales can help cut costs. Black Friday, for example, often has some of the best deals of the year. Plus, you don’t even have to brave the crowds anymore since you can shop online instead. Keep an eye on prices starting now and begin setting aside funds to use for when prices drop.
5. Watch out for scams.
Unfortunately, the holidays are a busy time for scam artists and fraudsters. Be wary of providing your information (or money) to anyone or any company that seems suspicious. Even if you get an email from what looks like your bank or a familiar retailer, be on alert. If anything seems questionable, call them directly to verify the legitimacy of any requests.