A big chunk of the BIG financial mistakes made by most of us happen during the Holidays. Here are 3 tips that will keep you from over-spending, maintain a higher credit score and ultimately enjoy the gift of giving more than ever.
TIP #1 – Create a Holiday budget. Most families spend wildly on gifts during the Holidays. First, determine how much you plan to spend overall, then break it down to each person or group you plan to buy gifts for… This can be really fun, especially when you find great gifts under budget! Example:
Total Budget: $1,000
The kids: $600
You get the picture… If you go over on one section, make sure to adjust for the others. Remember, it’s mostly the thought that counts when it comes to gifts and the difference between how someone reacts and enjoys a $30 gift vs. a $100 gift is very minimal. If you follow this concept, it will save you money GUARANTEED.
#2 – Do NOT use credit cards. Not only could it hurt your credit score if the balances go up, but it’s also much easier to over-spend when using “credit”. If a purchase requires a credit card so you can “afford” it, then it technically is NOT affordable and you would be wise not to buy it. If you absolutely must use a credit card, try to keep the balance on that card vs. the overall limit to under 30% to maintain the highest possible credit score. Whatever you do, don’t go over the limit.
#3 – Think “experience” vs. “objects” when buying gifts. For example, you could get someone a Helicopter or hot air balloon ride or tickets to a game, which would be an experience vs. buying them an XBox, which is an object. Experience-related gifts are very powerful and usually create better memories. They are also very numbered, so it’s hard to over-spend on experiences. The perceived value for an experience present is always much higher than an object present. For example, you could get a family of 4 front row tickets to a college basketball game for less than $200. That is a pretty awesome gift and it’s for 4 people!
Have a great Holiday Season and let me know if there’s anyway I can help 🙂
Categories: Holiday Tips