It may be October, but the holidays will arrive in the blink of an eye. The holiday season should be a time of giving, love, and joyful reunions. However, sometimes the joy is hard to come by amidst piling credit card debt and impulse spending. This year, you deserve a stress-free holiday season. Therefore, we outlined our best financial practices to help you prepare for the holidays.
Lower your credit card balance:
The most vital thing to remember as we prepare for the holidays is to keep our credit card balance as low as possible before we begin our holiday shopping. The last thing you want is to go above your credit line and, as a result, potentially drop your credit score, take on extra fees, and be subject to higher interest rates.
Make a list:
Similar to how Santa Claus prepares for Christmas every year, the first step to prepare for the holidays is to make a list of every person you plan on buying a gift for. Once you have listed every person and triple-checked that no one is missing, you can write how much you’re willing to spend on a gift for each person. Then, add these numbers to determine your holiday budget. We suggest having this list on hand during your shopping sessions to ensure you’re not overspending.
Track your spending:
Although it may sound like an obvious suggestion, you’d be surprised at how many people forget to track their spending during their shopping trips, and we don’t blame them. The malls usually become over flooded and chaotic during this time, causing most people to forget about their budget. However, we suggest doing your best to keep every receipt and come home after a long day of shopping to quickly crunch those numbers to ensure you stayed within the confines of your budget.
We hope our tips help you prepare for the holidays in a more organized and reliable fashion than you may have in the years past. The holidays are a time to celebrate the joy of giving and the beauty of family with one another. Therefore, we should do everything possible to plan ahead to have a stress-free, joyous, and exuberant holiday season.
This article is meant to be general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed as personal advice of any kind. Please consult your financial advisor prior to making financial decisions. Dustin Johnson, CFP®, ChFC® is a Financial Advisor with U-Vest Financial®, a separate entity from LPL Financial and can be reached at (727) 343-4200. Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/ SIPC.