Despite the good cheer, the holidays can cause stress when it comes to financing the festivities. This season could prove particularly challenging due to the economic strain suffered by small businesses due to COVID-19. Navigate holiday spending with the following shopping suggestions, along with a few tips on how to budget ahead of time.
‘Tis the season to be smart about spending and enjoy some holiday shopping, stress-free.
The Spirit of Scrooge: Budgeting 101
While we don’t recommend embracing a bah-humbug attitude this time of year, we do think it’s wise to take a page out of Scrooge’s playbook with respect to uncontrolled spending. We get that impulse buying is at an all-time high when you want to make everything sparkly and bright, but reining in any unnecessary spending is well worth it. Take your money further this season with these tried-and-true tips:
Set the stage
In other words, manage expectations. It’s no secret that this holiday will be unlike any most of us have ever experienced. On the bright side, we’re all in this together, and giving the nod to the pandemic and what it means when it comes to celebrating is a smart move. For you might have to shelve certain traditions that typically stretch your budget, whether that means costly decorations, a feast that still yields leftovers a week later, or elaborate gifts, restructuring your celebration can help recoup dollars where you need them most.
- Pro-tip: When it comes to gift-giving, you can rely on Want, Need, Wear, Read. The idea is to give an item from each category, which can prove very helpful to parents trying to select meaningful gifts without breaking the bank.
- Superhero-tip: Stay local. Buy whatever gifts your recipients want, need, will wear, and read from small businesses in your area. Supporting small business is critical to their survival all year, but especially as the economy recovers.
Make a list and check it twice
Whether you choose to adopt the Want, Need, Wear, Read goals for giving, you should definitely make a list and check it against available sales and deals. Even small businesses will be eager to offer better prices in order to attract more business and survive the winter. A word of caution here: a deal’s a deal. Don’t spend too much time determined to find an even bigger discount for more savings. You could end up missing out on inventory or not leave adequate time for shipping. Plan what you hope to spend on each item, and when you find an offer that comes in lower, jump on it.
- Pro-tip: If you can’t find what you’re looking for at a local business, make it a point to pursue price matching at larger retailers. Price matching simply means that one retailer will match another’s lower price point, if you can prove the amount, by showing a printed online ad, for example.
- Super-hero tip: Price matching at small businesses doesn’t typically exist, and even if it did, it would defeat the purpose of shopping small and supporting your neighborhood vendors. Instead, some small retailers might offer a 10% discount in exchange for a mention on social media or positive review on Yelp. Since you’ll both benefit, there is nothing wrong with this way to save a little extra.
Of course, at Franklin Savings Bank, our team is standing by to offer additional holiday budgeting assistance based on your personal needs and goals. Contact us to set up an appointment when you’re ready to get started. In the meantime, share your holiday spending tips with us on social!