The holidays are here (believe it or not) and it is time to start planning for the additional expenses that come with it. Here are four ways to help you plan for holiday expenses!
1) Set the money aside
For many married couples, one point of contention around the holidays is the husband and wife not communicating about how much they are spending both on each other as well as for friends and family.
To avoid frustration, sit down and talk about what your spending will be for the upcoming year. Discuss who you will purchase gifts for, how much you will spend, extra spending on meals, and holiday décor. You could get fancy and even fill out a spreadsheet to assist in this process! And don’t forget to discuss how much you are spending on each other, which will also help avoid the awkwardness of one person outspending the other (looking at you fellas – you can thank us later!)
Once you have determined a dollar amount, one idea is to either remove this from your bank account and place it in an envelope or place it in a separate savings account until you are ready to spend it. That will put less stress on your monthly budget as the money has already been removed and allocated for a specific purpose.
2) Take advantage of Black Friday
No, we don’t mean standing in line outside retailers at 5 a.m. and avoiding being trampled by a stampede as the doors open (unless that’s your thing!)
What we do mean is taking advantage of the sales that happened all day long on Black Friday. Sure, you might not be getting the doorbuster sales, but don’t sleep on all of the other good deals you can get both in the stores and online on Black Friday if you want to save while avoiding the crowds!
3) Try the Honey Google Chrome extension
This is not a Summit Wealth Group endorsement; this is simply a tip that has worked well for some of us here on staff.
If you are unfamiliar with browser extensions, this might take a little technical skill initially to set up. Honey is a browser extension you can place on Google Chrome, and it will work in the background when shopping online to make sure you are getting the best deal and in some cases, provide you with coupons on the item you are looking to purchase to save money!
The Honey Chrome extension also has a neat feature that shows you the price history of any shopping item. Let’s face it, we all know some retailers who mark their items up and then place them “on sale,” which is essentially the same price as full price anywhere else. This helps you get around that trickery.
Here’s an example. Pictured below is a blue tooth speaker, which Amazon says is normally $179.95 on sale for $130.63. It seems like a great deal, right?
If you click on the price history, you can see what the price has been over the last 30 days (you can look back as far as six months):
Now we can see that back in the first week of September, this speaker was listed at $103.80. All of a sudden, $130.63 feels like you are paying a premium for the speaker. This can be a great tool to use specifically on Black Friday as many retailers claim “biggest sale ever,” and you can essentially fact-check them on that.
4) Start Early – Supply Chain Issues Might Complicate Things
With the supply chain issues threatening the economy, no one knows how that might impact holiday shopping. It could mean this is the year of the gift card! The best way around this is to start your shopping sooner rather than later.
If you would like further advice on how shopping for the holidays might impact your overall financial plan, please reach out, and we would be happy to speak with you.