The holiday season is here! As soon as November 1st hits, many people begin prepping for travel, dinner plans, extra guests, and, most importantly, gift giving. However, it is so easy to get caught up in the holiday season and forget about a budget specifically for gifts.
However, it may be time to tighten the reigns on your spending so that you can continue to build a stable financial future. Here are five ways to help you not overspend this holiday season!
1. Make a List, Check it Twice
First things first: write down everyone you would like to purchase for. This could include family, friends, fur-babies, nieces/nephews, and co-workers. By creating a physical list of people, you are setting parameters on who you are you shopping for.
And before the list is set in stone, consider talking to your close family and friends about purchasing gifts and what the expectation should be this year. Have finances been tight for a few people? Maybe set a limit on how much money you can spend on each other, or even consider coordinating a grab bag gift exchange, so you are only purchasing for one person instead of everyone.
2. Set a Budget
Once you have a list of everyone you want to buy a gift for, set a realistic budget. This will take some consideration, as you want to give yourself enough spending money, while also respecting your financial limits.
One way to do this is to use the Budgeting Tools found in Blackhawk Bank’s online banking and mobile app. You can quickly see your spending history, and you can tag and categorize your transactions.
3. Think about the price AND the sentiment
Avoid the mindset that gifts need to be expensive. Instead, think about the meaning behind it. Many people turn to their crafting skills, and will make something for those in their life as opposed to purchasing something.
4. Don’t Forget Gift Cards
This is a great way to make sure you stay within your budget and don’t overspend! You may even have a few extra gift cards from last year that you can re-gift. But if you don’t, you can also stop in at a Blackhawk Bank location to purchase a gift card for your loved ones.
5. Avoid Impulse Purchases
We’ve all been there: as you walk through your favorite store, browsing what’s available, you can’t help but find something a friend or family member will love! However, this habit can quickly eat up your budget.
A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 24 hours before purchasing something. That way you have time think about the purchase, and to make sure you do not overspend.
The holidays are all about creating memorable moments, and while gift giving is certainly one way to do that, making sure you do not spend outside your means will help you and your bank account be at ease. For over 140 years, Blackhawk Bank has been helping folks navigate their finances throughout many seasons of life, and the holiday season is no different. Ready to talk to a Banker about your financial goals? Contact us today!
VP Retail Sales Manager