It seems like it was only yesterday that we were ringing in 2017 with our friends and family, speaking of our goals to save money and invest for the future. However, it is that time of year again. A period of giving gifts and decorating the house, not to mention the dozens of dinner parties you attend.
With this season, of course, also comes the Black Friday sales and the pressure to get everyone that “perfect gift.” We believe that you shouldn’t be ruining all of your work saving for that next significant investment no matter how much your father-in-law wants that expensive new TV. There are countless ways to save in your holiday shopping excursions, but, in case you have to spend hundreds on a particular gift, there are also a few helpful ways to recoup your money after the holiday leftovers have dwindled and the decorations are put away.
Here are few ways to help you get over the holiday hurdle towards your financial goals.
- Know What You Need: Keep a list of the people you are closest to and what you want to get for them. This list keeps you focused on getting what you need and keep you away from unnecessary spending in the face of sales so you can stay on budget. Plus, it helps keep you from that last-minute shopping panic.
- It’s Not Just About Black Friday: Black Friday has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the sales have too. Every year, discounts have become steeper, and it seems like there is a new sale every day online and at brick-and-mortar stores as they struggle for shoppers’ attention. So, when you start digging into your shopping list, be sure you’re getting the best deal.
- After the Holidays: Once the holidays are over and you’ve had time to look over your receipts or returned the presents that no one wanted, it’s time to get back to business. Find out where you are financially and begin to form your plan. How much of your credit did you use and did it affect your credit score? What can you get rid of now that the presents have all been received? Time to start replacing what you lost on that “perfect” gift.
- Invest In “No Spend January”: After nonstop shopping, it’s time to hide the credit cards and stop making trips to the mall. Commit your finances and stop spending on things you don’t need. Budget your groceries. Stop any subscriptions you don’t use. Remind yourself that you don’t need that new phone.
Despite all of the stress of saving and spending during the holiday season, it is also important to enjoy it. Visit with your family and friends. You can worry about recouping your savings after the new year.