Feeling Stressed? Don’t Fret! Set A Holiday Budget
Like Christmas music and singing, stress goes hand-in-hand with the holiday season especially if you don’t have a holiday budget.
Nearly 40% of people say their stress level increases during the holidays, according to the American Psychological Association.
Much of that stress centers around spending money — or the likelihood of overspending during holidays on everything from presents to décor and travel.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can combat much of the stress related to holiday finances by setting and sticking to a holiday budget this year. And here’s how.
Set A Holiday Budget That’s Easy To Stick To
Rule No. 1 when constructing a holiday budget: keep it simple. Don’t go to great lengths to integrate a laundry list of requirements or budgetary restrictions. If your budget feels overwhelming and unmanageable, it probably is.
Streamline the budget. Make sure to include just the basics that matter, such as an overall spending limit for the season or how much you exactly plan to spend on gifts per person.
Set realistic goals for other forms of spending, such as for food or travel. Create a final budget that is under your control and doesn’t control you.
Make Sure History Doesn’t Repeat Itself
It may help to look at the previous year’s spending habits when making a new holiday budget. It will provide a window into what is usually spent during the season overall and where most of the money goes.
It’s also the best way to discover spending weaknesses and use that information to inform a budget.
Did you spend too much on gifts last year? Do you end up spending more than expected during certain situations, such as window shopping or returning a gift? Is buying new holiday décor putting too much of a dent in your finances each season?
Understanding how you have spent in the past can help you to avoid it in the present.
Significant savings can be outlined in a holiday budget simply by starting the process early. Those who give themselves time to outline spending in categories like gifts, travel, and entertainment usually end up spending less on each.
By planning early, you may avoid the temptation to buy those “little extra” gifts each season that sinks your budget quickly. Planning travel months ahead of the holidays means less spent on plane or train tickets. It can also give you more time to save on expenses such as gas if you will be driving to your holiday travel location.
Identify And Integrate Spending Alternatives
If you’ve struggled with holiday spending in the past, a holiday budget is a good place to integrate alternatives. If you find yourself spending too much on party hosting, create a budget that factors in potlucks or homemade decorations.
If gifts are dragging finances down, think about a secret Santa approach with friends or family this year or commit to gifts that are more personal and, better yet, more affordable.
This could include baking cookies or putting together a fruit basket with goods purchased from a local farmers' market. If you travel every year, is there a long-distance ride-share program that could work for your needs?
Track Your Progress
A holiday budget won’t be effective unless you track expenditures at the same time. There are numerous apps that let you seamlessly digitize a budget and easily update it with all of your spendings.
As the holiday season rolls along, a digital budget can also be adjusted to reflect new financial goals or cuts in overall spending. The holidays are often very hectic. Don’t let your budget fall by the wayside because you are being pulled in multiple directions.
Combat A Financial Emergency Quickly
While many holiday budgets include a savings plan, it can be difficult to adequately prepare for major financial emergencies, such as a car repair, emergency room visit, or required last-minute travel.
Car title loans may end up being the best present you give yourself this holiday season. Designed to only address financial emergencies, car title loans offer relief and a way forward that doesn’t derail the most wonderful time of year.
Car title loans are both lucrative and easy to qualify for. If you have a lien-free vehicle title, you are likely very close to qualifying for a car title loan of up to $15,000 with help from Auto Cash USA in as little as 30 minutes.
All you need to do to get started is head to the Auto Cash USA homepage and fill out the loan inquiry form. The lending experts at Auto Cash USA will get to work immediately generating leads to connect you with a car title loans lender to fit your needs.
Get Started Today
With a holiday budget, the power to rein in spending is firmly in your own hands. But if a financial emergency hits that leave you scrambling during the holidays, a car title loan may help you get the cash you need the same day or the next business day.
Start online or give us a call today to find a lender in your area.
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.