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How can I save money during the holidays?

For people in Monmouth County experiencing financial instability, the holiday season can be stress-inducing. Proper money management is crucial this time of year, as overspending on gifts and entertainment can leave you struggling once the new year arrives. The Balance offers the following budgeting tips, so you can enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank.

Put a limit on spending

While it’s natural you want to lavish friends and family with amazing gifts, limiting spending is key for those on a budget. Before you even set foot in store determine how much you can afford for each person you plan on buying for. If you find that your funds are more limited than you thought, consider getting creative with gift-giving. For instance, crafts and baked goods make great gifts and cost relatively little to make.

Use cash when shopping

When you do go shopping, try to use cash as much as possible. If you only take out the amount you plan on using, you’ll be less likely to deviate from your budget. Conversely, if you use a debit or credit card it will be easier to make impulse buys, which will only add to your holiday expenses. No matter what you use, make sure you track spending.

Get an early start on next year’s spending

Once the holidays are over, consider getting a jump start on next year’s festivities. Put a little money aside each month into a holiday fund, which can be used to purchase gifts, buy food, and take trips to love one’s homes. If you’re unsure how much you should be saving, take the amount of money you spent this year and divide it by twelve. This will be the minimum you should be putting away each month. 

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