As aired on HI Now on November 20, 2019.
The holidays are coming up fast, which for a lot of people means hitting the malls in search of those perfect presents. However, when you’re trying to buy gifts for everyone on your list, those holiday expenses can quickly rack up.
That’s why Hawaii State FCU is sharing some holiday budgeting tips to make the season merry and bright for your loved ones…and your wallet!
Set a budget – and stick to it!
Deciding on a budget ahead of the holidays – and sticking to it – will reduce your chances of overspending. You can set an overall budget for your entire gift list, or set a price limit for each individual gift. When deciding on your budget, don’t forget to factor in extra costs like shipping, postage and packaging for gifts going to loved ones far from home.
Also, save your receipts to help you keep tabs on your spending habits throughout the season. Phone apps like Hawaii State FCU’s mobile app can make it easy to do spot checks on your account balances while you’re on the go.
Make a List
When you’re in the middle of holiday shopping madness, it’s easy to forget who you’re shopping for. Creating a gift list is a simple way to stay organized, reduce impulse buys, and keep your holiday spending under control. Write down all of the people you’re shopping for, and check off names as you purchase their gifts!
If you’re not into carrying a pen and paper everywhere, there are a ton of great organization and list-making apps you can download directly to your phone.
Go bargain hunting
Lots of retailers offer great deals starting around Thanksgiving, especially on Black Friday! If you plan ahead and start your holiday shopping early, you can score some awesome gifts for a fraction of the cost.
Check store websites for deals both online and in-store. Sometimes stores offer special discounts or coupons that you can print out or download to your phone. Also make sure to comparison shop – sometimes you can find gifts at another retailer or online, by just doing a little research.
If you feel like that holiday gift list is getting out of hand, consider homemade gifts to save some money. There are a lot of great, budget-friendly craft ideas, recipes and how-to videos online. Remember – a gift made with the hands and from the heart can often be more meaningful than something store-bought!
Give the gift of time
Instead of a traditional present, why not give back in a way that’s not only inexpensive, but feels good, too?
Consider volunteering your time – at a shelter, donation site, or even beautifying a beach or park. Instead of exchanging gifts, get some friends and family together and organize a volunteer project. It may even bring some relief to your loved ones who might have also been stressing over their holiday spending.