26 October 2022

Hey Business Lady,

In just a few short weeks, businesses across the globe will shut down, and the holiday season will commence.
Most people look forward to spending time with family and friends. Some travel, shop, decorate their homes, enjoy gifting, and host dinner parties. However, one thing is certain about our many known customs: They involve spending money.

While celebrating the holidays is a beautiful tradition, keeping your finances on track during the holiday season is critical. Because overspending can wreak havoc on your bank account- you must plan ahead of time.

Here are my tips in combatting financial distress this holiday season

1. Start planning well in advance
An essential step in preparing for the holiday season’s success is setting financial goals and creating a clear budget. You’ll be doing yourself a massive favor if you start saving towards your holiday budget ahead of time.

Consider your finances and review your accounts when evaluating how much you can afford to spend. You can use the previous year’s holiday expenses as a guide if necessary. Holiday spending can be costly, and as with all major purchases, planning and saving is essential.

2. Create and stick to spending limits
People frequently spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on holiday shopping and gifts. Set a budget and stick to it before any expenditure this holiday season.

Set a spending limit for gifts for family and friends, and make sure to choose an amount that fits comfortably into your budget. This same principle can be applied to any holiday spending, such as travel, decorations, and party hosting.

3. At all costs, avoid unnecessary debt
This is one of the devious traps holiday spending sets that can devastate your financial plan. Holiday debt can easily cripple your finances and leave you with a gaping hole in your wallet that can take months or years to fill.
If you take out a loan or charge non-emergency expenses on your credit card this holiday season, you’ll pay a high price in the new year.

Credit card interest rates are also notoriously high, and it’s easy to get caught up in all the shopping and spending when it’s so simple to buy things with a card swipe.

So aside from planning, saving, and budgeting, another way to avoid getting into debt during the holiday season is to pay with cash or redeem credit card reward points.

4. Make a note of it
Whatever you decide to do, please make a note of it. Writing everything down, from your goals to your budget and expenses, will simplify your accounting and keep you focused. Make a detailed list of everything you want to buy and your budget for each item.

Taking the time to create a written list of your plans and the associated financials will help ensure you get everything you need without overspending.

5. Start saving as soon as possible
Even if you’ve planned, budgeted, set limits, and written everything down, you may still find that you can’t get what you need without going over budget. In situations like these, it’s time to think about how to cut or eliminate certain expenses.

Fortunately, while the holidays are rather expensive, they are always an excellent time to take advantage of big sales. To ensure you get the best deal, shop around and avoid impulse purchases. Coupons are another way to save money. Coupons and discount codes may appear archaic, but they are still an excellent way to save money. You can save money on specific products by using coupons to help you stick to your holiday budget without overspending.

When sales and coupons aren’t enough to cut your expenses, consider cost-sharing. Instead of giving a gift as an individual, talk to your family and friends about pooling your money to buy someone a gift as a group. In addition, a potluck is an excellent way to alleviate the financial burden of hosting meals and parties.

6. Prioritize and restructure
Traditionally, the holidays are a time to embrace and enjoy the tradition. Still, if you’re worried about your financial situation this holiday season, it might be time to rethink your priorities and redefine your holiday expectations. For example, prioritize spending time with family and friends rather than spending money on gifts and decorations. But, of course, you can still make a wonderful present even if you don’t buy anything.

It’s OK to break some of the more expensive customs to maintain your financial health. So, why not change the way you celebrate the holiday? You could accomplish this by giving a handcrafted gift or a card with a heartfelt, handwritten message. Other options include taking your loved one on a picnic or bringing them breakfast in bed. Also, try repurposing everyday household items or making your decor and ornaments for decorations.

Are you financially ready for year-end shutdown?
Click here, I’d love to hear from you.

Talk to you soon,

Jeanetta Cardine

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