You don’t need the near-constant rotation of Michael Bublé’s Christmas albums to know the holidays are on the way. Your inner clock—fueled by peppermint mochas and gingerbread cookies—doesn’t need any help. Your inner financial advisor, however, could stand a few pointers.
If you’re like most Canadians, you expect the holidays to bring with it extra bills. Most of the country will rely on credit cards to celebrate the season, leaving them in debt in the New Year. If you’re tired of waking up with a holiday hangover you can’t blame on the spiked egg nog, use this guide to help you avoid the world of seasonal debt.
The holidays are a big deal, no matter what you’re celebrating. Don’t assume you can keep track of all your chores and spending in your head alone. As you start decorating, entertaining, and cooking in preparation of the big day, it’s far too easy to lose track of errands and shopping.
A budget is the most important tool of the season, as it will reveal the secrets of your finances. If you table it accurately, it shows you how much expendable income you have to spend on the season. Once you track where each loonie of your income is going, you’ll also see where you can cut back in order to set aside holiday savings.
Saving early is the greatest defence against excessive spending, but it’s not always possible if you’re working with a tight budget. If you, like many Canadians, are still feeling the effects of last year’s holidays, you’ll want to learn how to reduce your debt as you search for ways to budget for the current season.
If you aren’t sure how to build a successful holiday budget, there are online guides to walk you through each step. You can also download any of these award-winning money management apps and let their algorithms crunch the numbers for you. Do some digging. There’s a guide designed for every kind of situation, from those who rely on online payday loans to those with ample personal savings.
Be Like Santa
Santa experts figured out Santa has just 32 hours to make 640 million stops to the children around the world, delivering gifts to5,556 homesevery second. Only the magical man with the bag could dream to pull of such a monumental task, and he never leaves the North Pole without a list.
So you aren’t delivering gifts to the children of world—you may not even be celebrating Christmas—but there’s something to be learnt from Old Saint Nick. Never arrive to the grocery store or shopping mall without a list. This piece of paper or electronic note helps you stay on task this holiday and avoid picking up impulse buys you didn’t budget for.
The holidays are a busy time of year for most of us as we take the time to celebrate with the most important people in our lives. But don’t claim you’re too busy to follow this guide. Creating a budget and making a list are easy ways you can avoid debt this holiday, and you won’t have to sacrifice any of your time to reap the benefits.