The holidays are every budget-conscious parent’s nightmare. Your kids have a wish list a mile long, and they expect Santa to deliver. Meanwhile, you’re expected to pull your weight at office parties, friendly dinners, and family get-togethers alike. Between all the festivities and gift giving, your budget might crumble under the pressure.
Make your Kids Happy:
If you’re worried you might not be able to spoil your kids without spoiling your budget too, you should think about your holiday finances early. Use these tricks to keep your shopping trips affordable.
1. Know what you can afford first
The first step to shopping on a budget is knowing your budget. You won’t know what you can afford until sit down with your finances and start tracking expenses. This process lets you see how much of your paycheck is leftover after you pay for the necessities, like housing, utilities, and insurance. It also helps you identify areas that you’re overspending, so you can’t spend less and save more for your kids.
A handmade budget and a digital one created by an app work the same; they track expenses so you can see where you’re spending your cash. If you notice you’re spending a lot of money on things like takeout, movies, or subscriptions, see what you can do reduce or eliminate them entirely.
2. Prioritize gifts
In the excitement of the season, it’s easy to convince yourself you need to tick off every gift on your kids’ wish lists. But when their lists include the latest video games, consoles, toys, and phones, their wish lists have the power to topple your budget. It’s important to remind yourself that they truly don’t need everything they ask for. All you have to do is look towards the pile of old toys and out-of-date electronics to see how quickly their interests wane.
Rather than buy everything on their list, choose the ones that are the most important or practical. If you still aren’t sure which ones make the cut, get your children involved. Ask them for their absolute favourite gifts of the season to know which ones are the most important to them.
3. Never pay full price
If your budget reveals you have limited cash to spend, you need to make sure what limited money you do have works as hard as possible. As a general rule, you should coordinate your shopping with sales, so you never have to pay the full retail price on any item on your list. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most popular sales around the holiday, but they’re also the most hectic as the last major sales before the big day. Stock runs out quickly on this weekend, and you’ll have to fight other desperate parents for your spot in line.
4. Plan early…
If that doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, you have other options. The key is to plan in advance. When you prepare for the holidays early, you can take advantage of seasonal sales throughout the year.
… But don’t panic if you forget
Admittedly, there’s a knack to thinking about the holidays this early, and most busy parents don’t have it. All of the fall and some of the winter can you pass you by before you realize those are Christmas carols you hear — and that you should have been shopping the whole time.
Once you’ve missed your chance at snagging sales, you’ll have to spend more than you intend on the holidays. This can leave you unprepared for other bills and responsibilities over the holidays, especially if you tap into special savings to tick off the items on your list.
Busy parents like you rely on online personal loans as a back up when they come up short during the holidays. An online platform means lenders like MoneyKey can do away with the typical barriers slowing down the borrowing experience. All that it takes to start the process is an online application, and borrowers can receive a quick and easy cash advance in as little as one business day after they’re approved. This expedited timeline makes this online cash advances a good solution for urgent repairs or bills that strike at the worst time over the holidays. They’re time-sensitive, so they can help you get through a rough patch.
The holidays are supposed to be something you cherish with your kids — not something to dread or resent because of their cost. There’s no doubt they can be expensive, but there’s a way to be generous with your money and responsible with it at the same time. Learn to organize early and set realistic expectations to spoil your kids without spoiling your budget.