The holidays are right around the corner! Thanksgiving is this month, bringing with it Black Friday and the official start of holiday shopping. Unfortunately, this is also when the financial-stress monster rears it’s ugly head and reminds you how expensive it is to shop for your kids, your parents, your cousins, your grandparents, and your best friend’s ex-husband’s new wife’s child…. ! That’s a lot of money to shell out within 4-6 weeks. On top of all the gift spending, you also have holiday parties that increase your grocery bill, and if you are hosting, may even increase your electricity and utility bills. Traveling? That’s another set of cost increases. Airfare, gas, rental cars, and let’s also throw in pet care if you have furry family members who need a temporary home while you are away.
All this can add up to serious financial woes if you are unprepared. And let’s face it, who is ever fully prepared for the holiday season?
Luckily we have a few tips to make it easier for you!
- Begin planning a few months early. We’re not suggesting you start in the spring, but begin crafting your lists in October and plan ahead for exactly what you need. The key is sticking with the list! Impulse buys will derail your good financial intentions faster than Santa coming down the chimney!
- Ask about discounts everywhere! Military? School teacher? Student? Paying cash? Many stores and services, such as doggie boarding, will offer discounts for all of these, up to 20% in some places!
- Traveling for a few days? Make sure you turn off your thermostat to save on your heating bill. If you want to leave a light on for security, pick one with a low wattage, such as a table lamp rather than the ceiling light.
- Don’t forget about online. Take advantage of free shipping discounts anywhere you find them. If you are an Amazon Prime member, try to buy as many gifts off Amazon as you can to save shipping costs. Search the web for free shipping and discount codes for any site you are shopping. You’ll be surprised how many you will find!
Remember, if you are feeling overwhelmed, set up a consultation with our office. Our Attorneys have helped thousands of people like you get a fresh start and break the cycle of crushing debts. We are here for you!