Smart moves to avoid big January bills.
The holiday season has arrived and like some consumers you may be scrambling to get the last of your holiday gifts and decorations. A holiday spending plan will help you plan for the remaining items needed this season and prepare you for next season. The American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF) offers a spending plan specifically for the holidays. A holiday spending plan allows you to list gift amounts, decoration expenses, food expenses and more.
In addition to using a holiday spending plan, think about the following smart moves:
- What are ways you can earn extra income?
- Leave your credit cards at home while shopping.
- Do your research online and compare prices.
- Sign up to receive store specials/rewards.
- When shopping online, use services like Ebates for cash back.
- If you’re hosting a party, consider a Potluck.
- Try Rummage/Thrift Stores to find decorations and gifts or make your own gifts.
- Draw names (family & friends) instead of trying to find gifts for everyone.
- Check out DIY Ideas (Pinterest, HGTV, etc.).
- Bundle gifts – buy in bulk (cookies, bath salts, etc.) and make small gift sets to give.
These ideas can help you avoid big January bills. Additionally, it’s never too early to plan for next year by opening an automated savings account. There are several online apps for automated savings accounts that do the work for you by automatically transferring funds from your checking to your savings. Be sure to read the conditions carefully and make sure that the one you select is FDIC insured.
Be sure to check out Michigan State University Extension Educator Jinnifer Ortquist’s article on Finding Extra Money for the Holidays and MIMoneyHealth.org for more great tips on saving. Don’t forget to take our Financial Health Survey and get your score to learn about more ways to improve your financial health.
This information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned.