The holiday season is one of the most expensive times for traveling and shopping. Here are some things you can do to save some money and have a good time.
The holidays are great time, filled with family reunions, food, alcohol, presents and trips. The one thing they all have in common? Money.
As exciting as the holiday season is, one of it’s main drawbacks is the stress that comes with stretching your money and ensuring that you have the right amounts to do everything you kind of have to do.
Here are five tips that can help you plan around the holiday season and ensure you’re not paying off debts come next Thanksgiving:
Plan ahead and start early
Now that October is beginning and everyone is decking out their best Halloween themed things, make sure you start accounting for your holiday trips and expenses. Spend your money wisely and think twice before impulse shopping. The earlier you start planning ahead, the easier everything will go, finding cheaper presents, flight tickets and more.
Book your flights as soon as possible
The first thing you should do is book your trip, allowing you to get the best possible price. If you’re using a site like Kayak or Momondo, be sure to visit the site regularly and pay close attention to their price estimates. Plane tickets around this time of the year tend to fluctuate on a day to day basis. If you see a good price, buy it. It’ll likely be gone within the hour.
Use technology to your advantage
Make a budget for the holidays or keep track of your spending with the help of a website like Mint. This will notify you when you’re spending too much money and don’t have the luxury to do so. Your budget should include travel expenses – plane ticket, gas money, car rental, hotels, Ubers, etc. You can also include your budget for presents and your plans for going out to dinners and drinks. Don’t be too strict because it’s the holidays and you want to have fun, but also, don’t be too lenient.
Make a shopping list
If you have a big family then it’s time you start putting together that shopping list, looking for presents that the person will like and that are also worth their price. The worse thing you can do is wait until the last minute and panic shop: this will result in a shitty and expensive gift.
Make a plan for your credit card debt
Although the worst thing you can do is get in debt because of the holidays, it happens, and that’s okay. If you’ve had debts all year, be sure to at least make the minimum credit card payments so that it doesn’t build up. Look for flight tickets and shops that allow you pay for things in different payments, that way you’ll have a bigger grip on your money and won’t allow your budget to get too out of control. It’s also okay to have some fun and to owe a little more money than usual. It is the holidays and you can cut yourself some slack.