We all love Christmas holidays for the moments of true joy they bring, but we hate the time when they end. And one of the reasons why is the huge hole they make in our budgets. Exchanging gifts, parties, family reunions, and the shopping madness cost a pretty penny… According to Discover’s survey, more and more people rely on credit cards as ultimate holiday payment method now, so no wonder that by the end of the holidays many of us find ourselves in an impressive debt. Not a good start of a new year… Wonder if it’s possible to survive holidays without running into debt (and without becoming Scrooge)? We believe yes if you start planning your next holiday’s expenses early – even now! We are going to share 5 ways how to get through the holidays debt-free including tips on choosing the best online savings account for the ‘most wonderful time of the year’.
1. Figure out your Christmas budget… after the holidays end
Don’t put off setting your holiday budget to the ‘-ber’ months. The best and easiest way to accumulate a considerable sum of money for the holidays is to make savings on a monthly basis during the whole year. But you need to know what sum of money to aim at. In January, when holidays have just passed, you remember how much everything cost you and what you would like to add to your celebration list. So grab your pen and a piece of paper (or equip yourself with one of those tech-savvy Christmas planning apps) and write down all those items (like gifts, travels, entertainment, charity, decorations, new outfits, photo shoots and so on) accompanied with their approximate cost. Then calculate your total budget for the next holidays.
2. Shop all the year around!
Who said one must shop for gifts only in November and December when malls are crowded with other folks chasing same goods you do? Not only are you more likely to buy goods of inferior quality malls try to get rid of using discount prices, but also you are more prone to impulse and spontaneous buys you can regret about later. Try to shop for holidays stuff purposefully throughout the year focusing on what you really need and make meaningful buys. For example, the lowest prices on winter attire are in January, for winter sports gear in March while April is for beauty products.
3. Book and plan your travels early
Analysts at CheapAir, the website featuring bargain travel deals, notes that the 26th of December and the 2nd of January are the most expensive dates in term of holiday travels. But if you book your trip early, you can be more flexible with the dates and, as a result, score the best price and – what is also pleasant – avoid crowds. The same is also true for booking hotels. If you have never tried such giant travel agencies as Bonfire Adventures or Expedia , now it’s a good time to find out how their discounts work and strategize a bargain deal for the next holidays.
4. Earn cash back to buy more
Many online shops give a considerable cash back (sometimes up to 10%) for your loyalty. You can use it for buying more gifts. The trick here is to remember to only buy things you really need; otherwise, hunting for rewards can end up in you having to spend more instead of getting more.
5. Open a savings account for the next holidays
The smartest way to set some cash aside for the gifts and other holiday expenses is to start building up a high-interest savings account right now when the new year just began. Easy-access saving accounts save you not only money, but also time. For example, Mombo Sacco savings account in Kenya enables you to accumulate a substantial holiday budget at 6% per annum by contributing small fixed monthly payments (KES 3,000) each payday right from your device using the Mombo App. Another remarkable benefit is that after 3 months of participation, you can get access to a loan (amount equal to 5 times your savings) for any unpredictable expenses that may arise during holidays. This makes the best saving plan ever.
By following these tips, you’ll be better off when the next holiday season arrives. Remember to start early as building up holiday savings doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a year-long strategy.