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Holiday Savings: How to Stay On Budget and Start The New Year Without Debt

Are you caught up in the whirlwind of preparing for the holidays? If so, be careful of using your credit card to pay for items you weren’t planning to buy. Instead, stick to a holiday budget to stay on track with your savings goals, so you’ll avoid starting the New Year with credit card debt. These five tips will help you to keep your finances in check during the holidays.

Stick to Your Holiday Spending Budget

Make a gift list and holiday entertaining list before you start shopping.  Include each person you want to buy presents for, and how much you plan to spend. Do the same for each holiday meal you will host, including the costs of any holiday decorations, like strings of lights, Christmas trees, and turkeys. Stick to your budget!

Avoid Holiday Shopping Temptation

If you love to shop and find yourself easily tempted to buy a few extras over the holidays, avoid situations where it’s hard to say no to spending.  For example, don’t wander the malls to window shop. Skip retail websites when surfing the internet. Remind yourself that the “Sale” banners you see in shopping centres only apply to the items you’ve already planned and budgeted for. Saving
70 percent on something that wasn’t on your list won’t increase your savings as much as not buying it at all!

Post Images of Your Savings Goals

Sticking to a budget may challenge you all year, and especially during the holidays when retailers pull out all the stops to encourage you to spend money. Fight back! Post a picture of your dream home on your fridge. Make your laptop or smartphone background an image of your children to remind you of their education savings. Combat the temptation with visual reminders of why you are saving extra money instead of spending it.

Shop Early

Nothing can bust your holiday budget as fast as last minute shopping. In your hurry to grab gifts for everyone on your list, all thoughts of sticking to your holiday budget may fly out the window. This often results in added purchases on your credit card that you’ll struggle to pay off in the New Year. Instead, schedule your shopping trips or online purchases for late November or early December, giving you lots of time to find the best deals and savings.

Grow Your Child’s Education Savings During the Holidays

In addition to keeping your spending in check during the holidays, keep your eye on growing your savings. If friends and family members typically send cash gifts for your children during this time, encourage them to give the gift of education through the  Heritage eGifting Program.  

This new funding program is offered through the crowdfunding platform FundRazr. It lets RESP subscribers set up an online campaign with social media messages to invite other individuals across the globe to contribute to your children’s education savings.

Whether it’s a gift of twenty dollars or $200, eGifting during the holidays is a great way for friends and family to give a meaningful gift and boost a student’s education savings.
Stick to your budget, avoid overspending, and stay on track with building savings in December. Doing so will help your finances get off to a good start in the New Year.