Tag Archives: holiday savings

5 Holiday Planning Strategies To Minimize And Lower Debt

shopping-tablet-holiday-ss-1920-800x533

Wouldn’t you agree there could be nothing worse than receiving your credit card bill in January only to discover you can’t possibly meet the minimum payment?  This happens to thousands of Canadians every holiday season, but this year you can make a difference.  You can learn how to manage your holiday budget and minimize the risks of incurring more credit card debt.  For many, indulging in spending has become a bad habit, but finance education can dramatically reduce these adverse living habits.  The holidays don’t need to be stressful at all, not if you plan early and stick to a financial strategy that works.

Now, according to researched statistics, each generation of Canadians have a distinct shopping style.  For instance, Gen Xers will be making more holiday purchases online than those within the Y Generation.  They appear to be wiser shoppers as well, using Apps to price compare and research products before making purchases.  However, while some shoppers appear to be more budget aware than others, the majority of Canadians end up with a Holiday Shopping Hangover due to flamboyant purchases and impulse shopping.  In fact, one in five Canadians throughout British Columbia believe themselves to be “binge shoppers” and impulsive.

The holidays are a time for merriment, but that can be hard to have when financial woes take hold. Because 59% of Canadians over spend at the holidays and end up with remorse and guilt, that holiday cheer can turn into holiday stress pretty quickly.  The following 5 tips we are going to share with you can help keep you accountable and on track with regard to your holiday shopping.  Smart planning and spending strategies will ensure you don’t max out your monthly budget and face anxiety and stress instead of holiday cheer this season.  Let’s take a look.

Christmas shopping

The Top 5 Holiday Planning Strategies To Save You Money

One very critical point to make here, before we delve on in to the several other financial strategies for the holidays is this:  you need to itemize for every individual on your list.  This not only helps with keeping stress low, but it ensures you stay on budget and stick to your shopping strategy for savings.  If you list each person you have to buy for, and put a limit on the amount you’ll spend (and stick to it) you’ll remain on budget and won’t be broke come the end of December.

Strategy 2:  Utilize Your Smart Phone Apps

Your smart phone can be a great guide to savings.  From taking advantage of groupon to other excellent money savings apps–you can do price comparisons using tools like “red laser” “retail me not” and even more.  You can also take advantage of social media to find great deals. Yet, remember, a deal isn’t a deal if you go over your original budget, so keep that in mind.

Strategy 3:  Purchase Inexpensive Gifts First

Start shopping by purchasing the least expensive gifts first.  Research has shown that when a shopper sees small items add up quickly they are more likely to pull back on those purse strings.  You then go purchase the big items on your list.  This might help you save more money by not splurging on cheaper items and considering this to be okay.  Remember, even small items can add up into the hundreds when you over spend.

Strategy 4:  Shop During Off Season

You can purchase holiday merchandise during off season and get more than 50% off when you do so.  If you have a good idea of what your list of recipients like and want, this is a great ay of saving a ton of money.  And don’t forget, you can get many holiday decorations and necessities directly after Christmas at 75%!  Just imagine already having everything you need for the next holiday season!

Strategy 5:  Engage In Gift Exchanges

Engaging in gift exchanges can save you money and be sure, this is an excellent option for those who simply can’t afford to purchase the more expensive gifts.  A gift exchange can be a great deal of fun too, and making purchases for others with friends can actually be socially engaging!

Winter-holiday-high-quality-wide-desktop-wallpapers-in-hd-free

 

How Can You Have A Financially Responsible Holiday Season?

Christmas Image budget

We understand that #financialplanning might not be the priority for many Canadians during the holiday season.  In fact, the majority of shoppers spend the highest amounts of money during this time of the year, often overlooking their budget and over spending well beyond their means.  This leads to horrible depression following the holiday, but it appears to continue to happen despite one’s best efforts.  It’s important to remember that Christmas cheer isn’t all about how much money you spend, or what big brother is getting this year either.

Sticking to a budget at the holidays can feel painful, but it can be kept painless–this is the true reality! Canadians have simply become accustomed to splurge spending and it is time to pull in those purse strings and get control of finances–that is if those residing across British Columbia want to live without incurring more debt.  Just remember, since the holiday season is one of the most common times to rack up debt, what better time to share how to have a financially responsible holiday season without feeling deprived? The good news is that many more Canadians are learning how important a budget is nowadays. Over 2/3 of Canadians are now prepared to manage a holiday budget so they can be financially responsible.

Now, are you ready to begin thinking outside of the box?  It’s time to start discovering how to become financially savvy and begin a plan for the upcoming year, versus spending a fortune at the holidays.  The following 5 tips can be lifesavers for those Canadians who have simply been spending way too much for too long.  Just keep in mind that it isn’t about how much you spend, it’s about sharing that time together as a family that matters the most!

christmas on a budget

5 Tips To Help You Become Financially Responsible All Year Long

Your main goal this time of the year should be reeling in that spending and holding yourself accountable for unnecessary purchases.  Keeping track of where your money goes is the only way you can get a good grasp over your finances.  As always, planning and sticking to a budget is the very first strategy one should take to minimize money woes and control debt. The next one is learning how to be rational with credit card spending!

Control Your Credit Card Expenses And Manage Spending

That piece of plastic is mighty convenient when you’re out holiday shopping, but it isn’t as pleasant when the first of the year bills start rolling around, is it?  You need to train yourself to only charge what you know you’ll be able to pay for when that bill rolls around.  This will ensure you don’t incur more credit card debt and you keep your finances in tip top shape!

Search Online For Discounts And Printable Coupon Codes (good all year long)

It’s never too late to begin couponing! Not only can this save you money at the holidays, but it can guarantee you stay within your budget without any anxiety at all!  Retail-Me-Not is perfect for Canadians all across British Columbia who do a lot of shopping online, or who have loyalty to specific retailers! This is also an excellent way to save all year long–and definitely achieve a way of getting some funds in your savings account!

children_flm

Get Your Children And Young Adults ( to 29 years of age) Engaged In Financial Literacy Courses For Free

Not only can these finance courses help you learn how to manage and keep up with your finances at the holidays, but this can teach the younger Canadian generation how to better meet financial obligations and learn how to control spending before critical issues can begin impacting their credit score later in life! Financial literacy is growing in importance across Canada, as all Canadians can learn better money management skills–especially at one of the more expensive times of the year!  Youth who are wise to the importance of money, and understand how lavish spending can create stress and strife can actually help older Canadians make wiser spending decisions!

Think About The Future And Not Just Today–Selfish Desires Can Burn

You need to start planning for the future rather than living in the moment.  Again, while holiday time is exciting and money costs are unavoidable, not everything has to lead you astray from budgeting.  Begin to enjoy those things which are priceless (and free)!  Having priorities is important, no matter how much money you might have. You’ll discover, once you begin living on the correct financial path, you’ll be balanced, happier, and enjoy the holidays far more!  In fact, you’ll enjoy all year long, once you finally learn what being financially responsible is all about!

 

5 Creative Ways To Save During Holiday Travel

Holiday travel is not only stressful, it is, or can be extremely expensive as well.  Whether you’re flying from British Columbia or you’re driving to meet up with family and friends for the holidays–preplanning can make all the difference to your savings.  In other words, timing your travel in a strategic way can help you save big and keep your finances in check at the same time. You don’t want to let spending spiral out of control, and it can without proper management and planning. Our tips and tricks below will save you quite a lot and definitely allow you to enjoy your holiday travel with very little stress!

You Can Save During Holiday Travel With These Tips

booking a flight

So, remember, planning ahead is the priority.  For example, if you live in Ontario and you are going to be traveling to New York for the holidays, check flights early.  Booking a flight early on is a tried and true strategy and will definitely save you financially, while eliminating anxiety and stress!  You can catch a red eye and save even more, as many don’t like to travel in the late night, or early morning hours.  You should try to keep luggage reasonable as well, because some airlines do charge extra for additional baggage, but then some offer deals too–so take the time to investigate your options when you’re flying! And remember, most Canadians have found October is the best time of year to book in your flights, so make an alert on your smart phone to stay up-to-date!

Get These 5 Creative Tips To Secure Financial Savings For Holiday Travel

So, you’ve received the tips on the flights and planning, but what if you’re driving to your location?  The same philosophy really still applies.  Rental car rates fluctuate just like flights do, so plan ahead and know what kind of rental you’re looking for.  Further, know what the rental company expects, such as: do they require a deposit, do they accept cash or do they require a credit card, how is milage calculated–and more! Compare prices and try to get a rental with inclusive costs to save money.  Let’s look at some other tips you might find helpful to stay on top of your budget during the holidays and all year, for that matter!

Holiday Saving

Rent A Loft Or Apartment Over A Hotel

Hotel costs skyrocket over the holidays, but being frugal and choosing a loft or apartment vacation rental can save you a lot!  Depending on where you’re having to travel, sometimes you might hit an off season where a rental unit is ten times cheaper than staying at the Marriott! Check it out and see what your options are before you book into something unreasonable.

Map Your Route And Choose A Driving Day With Less Congestion

Frequent stopping, or slow traffic can cause you to have to pay more for fuel and it is harder on your vehicle, rental or not.  If you can route out an easier drive to your destination and choose a day where traffic is only minimal, go with it.  This will lower your fuel costs, improve driving conditions and absolutely lower stress levels.  Remember too, time of day is critical to consider as well, so plan well!

Travel By Train

Sometimes, depending on the season, train travel is far cheaper than flying or even driving–depending on how far you’re traveling.  For instance, Canadians in Vancouver have discovered flights from Vancouver to Seattle are extremely expensive during the holidays, which practically eliminates this option when you’re trying to be frugal.  However, travel by train in the winter is inexpensive (for most destinations) and is actually a lot of fun too!  Do a little research and find out how you can save!

Establish A Holiday Countdown Fund

For travel, this can be an exemplary way of saving!  This applies future planning and staging your holiday travel.  The best way to go about it is to start at the beginning of the year and put a little money aside each month for that big holiday get together.  Once the time comes you’ll have a cookie jar filled with savings and won’t feel any extra pinch at all when it comes to the accommodations you choose and your chosen way of reaching your destination either.  It make sense, don’t you think?  Of course, this doesn’t mean be wasteful, but you can relax just a bit more than the next person when you plan like this!