“The average American spends nearly $800 in gifts for family, friends and colleagues during the Holiday season, does it sound like a lot? You’d be surprised. Learn how to budget and prepare so the Holidays don’t catch you of guard.”
“This post was sponsored by Regions Bank. All opinions are my own.”
The Holiday season is the happiest of the seasons. It’s when families come together to celebrate and enjoy the love and company of each other. But with get together’s, family parties, company parties and “just because” comes a lot of spending. And as we know, spending can a lot of times get us in trouble if done “under the influence of the holidays”. Yes, that’s a thing.
The National Retail Federation estimates a 4.1% increase in sales this year, and as I mentioned before, with the average individual spending an estimated $786 in gifts, that’s a considerable increase! So with so much money going out of our pockets, what can we do to make sure that, one: we spend responsibly, and two: save on other areas so we can maximize and spending budget.
Regions Bank is one of the largest banks in the U.S. with over 1,600 branches across 16 states, so they know a thing or two about finances. They have prepared advice for consumers on how to prepare financially for a responsible holiday shopping season. Here are a few tips:
- The Golden Rule – Your gift budget or spending should never exceed more than 1.5% of your annual income. It’s always a good idea to use this as a guide at the beginning of the year in order to set money aside and prepare for the holidays.
- Separate and Delegate – Think about opening a separate account to make regular contributions for gift purchases in a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.
- Buy what you can Afford – To prevent overspending, always leave home with a list of what you must buy, and make sure you have enough money to cover such purchases once in store.
- Strategy, Strategy, Strategy – While airplane tickets are better purchased in advanced, other items like toys and electronics and dip in price in the weeks leading up to the holidays. So make sure you strategize and make the most of your budget.
Those are excellent ways to save you money and keep you from overspending, but you can also contribute to cut back on other areas, that way you can add a few more bucks to your gift budget. That’s why DIY ideas are great!
- DIY Holiday Decorations – These are a great way to rally with the family and have fun, and save money! Make ornaments, christmas chards and other items that you would normally spend money on at the store.
- Gift Wrapping – Not only is replying good for the environment, but you can recycle wrapping paper from previous usage, or buy in bulk to spend less, or you can even skip the wrapping!
Are there any other ways you normally save or budget for the Holiday season? Are there any other ideas you can suggest to us? Make sure to comment and let us know!