Happy Holidays on a Budget

Happy Holidays on a Budget

The Holiday season often leads to steep spending. From holiday travel to gift giving to family vacations, expenses during the Holidays can quickly and easily spiral out of control. Since it’s that time of year again, the 5-hour ENERGY® team put together 5 tips that can help you save money during the 2012 Holiday season.
Know your financial limits
The first step to saving during the Holidays is to know how much money you have to spend then committing to that budget. If you don’t have enough money to buy gifts for your entire family, communicate that to them. Offer a budget-friendly alternative to buying gifts for each family member, such as a Secret Santa gift exchange. This reduces the cost of buying multiple gifts to only buying one gift. Being honest with what you can and cannot afford is a simple way to eliminate much post-Holiday financial stress.
Make a list and stick to it
Once you know your financial limits, the next thing to do is map out how you are going to spend your available Holiday budget. Physically write down what gifts you plan on buying for friends and family, how much you will spend on food if you are having a family meal, travel costs, and any other expenses you will have. Sticking to a list will help keep you from buying unnecessary additional items and spending money that you don’t have.
Keep track of what you spend
If you’re looking to save money during the Holidays, it’s vital to keep a running total of how much you are spending.  Unexpected expenses can creep up, especially during the Holidays. From extra wrapping paper to a gift for the mailman, it’s important to be aware of where your money is going. Keep a notebook in your car or create a list on your phone of all the Holiday spending you’re doing so when you revisit your budget you can factor in all the expenses.
Be careful with credit cards
Besides sticking to your list, another helpful way to stick to your Holiday budget is by using cash. Cash is a simple way to keep track of how much you spend- you start off with a certain amount of money and when it’s gone, it’s gone! For those looking to control Holiday spending, cash is a great alternative to credit cards because you physically see how much you are spending and how much of your budget remains.
Shop early
Waiting until the last minute to do Holiday shopping can be a complete nightmare. You have to deal with huge crowds of people, long lines and unnecessary stress. More time shopping means less time with friends and family. If you wait until the last minute to do your Holiday shopping, you are more likely to buy what is in front of you, regardless of the cost, due to fatigue. Shopping early gives you the time to think about what you want to shop for and compare prices at different stores.
These are just a few simple ways for you to save this Holiday season, but because it’s the season of giving, we’ll throw in an extra tip; give the gift of 5-hour ENERGY®! Happy Holidays from the 5-hour ENERGY® team to you!


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