This post was sponsored by Regions Bank. All opinions are my own.
The holiday season is here and whether you are shopping online or in-store, there is a big temptation to spend too much on gifts. This can lead to a case of buyer’s remorse come January. Even if you haven’t been saving throughout the year for the holidays, there are still ways you can prepare yourself financially for the holiday season and beyond, into 2016!
There are 4 ways to help you prepare for the holiday season. These four steps have helped me and many others get ready for all the holiday shopping coming our way!
1. Start a holiday savings account. We have a separate savings account that we deposit money into monthly throughout the year. We set a rate, $75 or $100 a month that goes straight into this account.
2. Set a budget. Take into account what has been spent in previous years as an average of what you should be spending on holiday gifting. In this budget, I also include any and all holiday travel and parties I plan on hosting.
3. Know when to buy. The holidays are the best time of year to take advantage of sales. Retailers are constantly competing against each other and will offer amazing prices on items throughout the season. Compare weekly ads, sign up for email savings and check online for coupons.
4. Buy what you can afford. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Buy what you actually need or know the recipient will like. Don’t buy “just because”, that will just make you spend extra money on things you do not need.
The holiday season can be a very stressful time financially for many Americans. The National Retail Federation predicts a 3.7 increase in sales this year, with the average American spending about $786. I think that if you have children, especially tweens and teens, you might even spend more. By following the tips above, you can stick within a budget and actually enjoy the holiday season. Remember, the holidays are meant to be spent with loved ones, not wandering aimlessly around the mall in search of “perfect gift.”
For more advice on how to prepare financially for the holiday season and beyond, be sure to check out Insights byRegions, where you’ll find financial guidance to move your life forward.