The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching and now is the time to get your finances in order.
During the months of November and December, consumers will scour retail stores for the perfect gifts. Parents will be stressed out, buying up a storm for their kids to make a special Christmas. The vast majority do not realize the importance of financially planning for the shopping season.
The holiday shopping season can do a number on a parent’s financial status, leaving them in credit card debt. This can result in parents paying out ridiculous amounts in interest payments, and doing harm to their credit score overall. There are some tips that they can take to help them get ready for the holiday shopping season and to avoid the financial troubles that could follow.
Plan out your gift list, and set a budget early
It‘s never too early to figure out what parents are going to buy for their kids, and how much they are going to spend. This does not mean that everyone has to know the exact gifts they are going to buy for their children, but they should have an idea. Parents can try to make a list of everything their kids really want, jot down a few ideas of what they could get them, and what all of the gifts will cost in the end. Make sure to check for manufacturer free coupons for toys and electronics.
The end result is that parents will be able to set up a budget that they will be able to stick to throughout the season. Even if the parents change their mind on what they are going to buy, they have the budget to help guide them.
Establish a holiday shopping fund
Many do not realize how easy it is to save money, especially when they never actually see the money in their account. Parents should test out a savings option by thinking about setting up a separate savings account, and have $10 from a paycheck go to that account each week. This may not sound like a lot, but if parents do this on a yearly basis, they could have over $500 to spend when their holiday shopping begins.
Establishing a holiday savings fund early enough helps with spending. Spending cash on gifts is important for parents. Buying in cash will help parents avoid making impulse purchases on a credit card. Having that list of what to get and the budget to go by helps avoid purchases on credit cards.
It is never too early to shop for the holidays
Even if it is June or July, it is never too early to start shopping for the holidays, especially if parents know what their children are going to want. When parents shop ahead, they can spread out their spending so that they do not have to use credit cards. Parents who spend and buy $50 worth of gifts each month for four months have less of a dent in their wallet than those who spend it all at once. Early shopping will also allow parents to really search out bargain prices on items, as they will have more opportunities to track price trends.
The holiday shopping season does not have to be stressful, hurtful, or damaging to parents’ finances. Planning appropriately with the tips mentioned above will help give a positive feeling to shopping. Parents have a rough time shopping for their kids during the holidays. Proper planning can help reduce the stress involved though, and ensure your kids are smiling on the biggest day of the year. It will also reduce debt and set up finances for a good start to the upcoming New Year.