The following post was sponsored by Capital One. All opinions are my own and not directed by Capital One. To learn more about how Capital One is reimagining banking in Atlanta, click here.
I don’t know about you, but I am one who loves to spoil and love on my family and loved ones… hard. However, as the family grows, life changes and priorities shift, shopping for me has become a bit more strategic and smart. Since I have told you I am trying to be a bit better and take better care of myself when it comes to saving and budgeting, and with the help of Capital One, I had to share with you a few holiday shopping tips so that you (we) can save, feel confident in your gift giving and put something away for yourself!
SO, holiday shopping… did you know that on average, people spend $900 on gifts for the holiday season? I stress that average because that is soooo not me… I can already see how and what I could be using that $900 for! And guess what girl, that doesn’t even take into account the food, décor, and various holiday looks & outfits we “need.”
It all adds up, right?
BUT… with a little optimism, planning and active participation, you can get a little smarter with your holiday spending! I know that I am on a mission here and I am already a penny pincher, so this should be easy… right? Ha! We shall see, but let me share with you a few tips that have helped me save in the past during each holiday season:
Here are 5 Tips to Make It Through the Holidays Without Breaking the Bank
Start Shopping Earlier in the Year
Girl, yes. I know some folks who keep a stash of gifts (hi mom) in a closet in their homes, and throughout the year they add to the pile. So rather than spending major dollars upfront, my mother takes advantage of sales and scores throughout the year! I stole this tip from her when I saw how she shops for my niece and nephews! Brilliant! It does take some planning, but if done right, well… you avoid the mall rush, can pre-wrap throughout the year and no one is the wiser. 🙂
Set a Budget
This is where my challenge is. Setting a ceiling. I think doing this helps me to really regulate what I do and do not have in my life. And as much as I love my niece and nephews, I need to make sure that I do not find myself living tight because auntie went overboard. What is my budget this year? I am not sure… I have to calculate! *looks back at the average holiday spend*
You know, this has to be the smartest yet THE most challenging thing to do. First of all, I hardly EVER carry cash. EVER. I mean, when was the last time you carried cash to buy more than dinner, parking lot fees or lunch… so this practice would be one that would require superhuman power level planning and discipline. Perhaps I could put the cash in an envelope? I don’t know… but once you break a $100, it’s gone.
Give One Gift
I love my babies. In my family we indulge once a year and it’s for the holidays… I mean, I easily want to hook up my immediate family members with at least two gifts, and then go ham on the babies. I am not sure I can just go cold turkey on this one, but I think that I can work towards this goal so that I’m better about my savings (remember my dream vacay?)! This is def a long-term goal… lol.
Create a Savings Account for the New Year
The holiday season always feels like a money-drainer, especially if you don’t shop earlier and throughout the year. While there’s not much I can do about those immediate expenses (outside of maybe budgeting for it farther in advance next year), one thing that might make you feel better in the New Year is opening a high yield savings account, like a Capital One 360 Money Market Account. By putting a chunk of money in the account and letting it sit there and grow (up to 1.30% Annual Percentage Yield if you have at least $10,000 in the account), you can feel like your savings account is working harder for you. So even if it feels like you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul during the holidays, you know your future is looking merry and bright!
These are just five tips and ways that you can approach the holiday season with a bit more confidence and joy, knowing what your limits are, what you are working with and how to navigate through it all…
Did I miss a tip of yours? How do you navigate through it all?