Every year Christmas rolls around and promises not to get carried away by going over budget make the list of things to do and yet, just like clockwork, January rolls around and the bills arrive to reveal just how much was actually spent. There is no need to go through the painful ritual of spending the first quarter of every year climbing out of debt that was accumulated over a relatively short holiday season. Instead, take a look at these tips so you can actually be ready for the festivities.
1. Open a Dedicated Savings Account
The first thing you should do is open an account to keep your savings separate. It is much easier to save for a target when the money is held in an entirely different account. You may think that you can mentally separate your money but it is surprisingly easy to fall into the trap of using money you were saving for one purpose on something else because it is all kept together.
2. Reevaluate Your Budget
When you have decided to start a Christmas budget fund you can then look at your budget to find ways you can cut back slightly to transfer some money into the account every month. You may decide to stop eating out a few times for the week or maybe change how much you spend on gym memberships by exercising at home for free. Spending habits are extremely unique so this has to be a decision you come up with all on your own after a bit of self-evaluation.
3. Make it Automatic
When you have figured out how much you can transfer into your new savings account the next step is to make it automatic. This helps you to stick to your commitment. If you don’t set up a standing order or salary deduction you might find excuses not to make the transfers and this could derail your plans.
4. Leave Your Credit Cards at Home
Another small tip to help you to save as much as you possibly can is relatively simple in theory but it can be hard to implement. If you start using only cash to make your purchases you will see that you actually spend less because you will not be able to spend money you don’t have. Using credit can act as a crutch for your bad spending habits and gradually leaving your credit cards at home can help you to break your dependence.
5. PocketSmith Can Help
The budgeting tool in PocketSmith’s software allows goals and targets to be set and then tracks your progress as time passes. This is a really cool way of keeping tabs on your holiday savings account so you can avoid the credit score dip in January.
Christmas takes a toll on the budget because it is a time when you want to make others happy and you can get carried away in expensive holiday cheer. It is never too early to start planning for your expenses, especially when they come around year after year and these tips can certainly help to make spending during the holiday season a lot more controlled.