With the holiday season upon us, shopping can become overwhelming. From gifts and parties to decorations and travel, there are various financial pressures associated with the holiday season. Shay Davis, Extension Agent in Training, offers tips to help you manage your funds over the holidays.
• Make a budget and stick to it. List all of the gifts and decorations you plan to buy, the parties you will host or attend along with the travel expenses.
• He’s making a list and checking it twice. Even old St. Nick double checks his list. List all family members, friends and co-workers that you plan to purchase gifts for. This will help you stay organized. Once you have purchased a gift for someone, cross him or her off your list. This prevents you from adding last minute items to make your gifts seem more valuable. Putting this into practice will help you stay on task with your shopping.
• Don’t be afraid to hunt for treasures. Comparison shopping is an excellent way to get the best bang for your buck. Browse weekly sales ads for bargains and deals. Look for coupons that offer discounts and savings. The money you save from bargain shopping can be substantial and well worth the effort.
• Do not exceed your limits. While this is the season of giving, do not feel guilty if your budget will not allow you to purchase gifts for everyone. If necessary, be selective in what parties you will attend. Attending parties often requires bringing gifts or food items and those expenses can be costly. Avoid expensive wrapping paper and decorations. Be creative and use what you may have from previous years. This will help you save money while diminishing the holiday clutter we tend to have stored away in our homes. Also, discount stores often offer materials at lower costs than larger department stores.
• Think ahead. Remember that holiday spending is a recurring expense. Consider establishing a savings account or system that you regularly contribute to throughout the year. By doing this, you are ensuring that you have extra funds to cover additional expenses. Keep in mind that spending less should not take away the cheer and joy of the holidays. Have a wonderful and thrifty holiday season!
UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.
For more information on this or other family and consumer sciences related topics, contact Shelly Barnes or Shay Davis. Barnes is the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent and Davis is the Family and Consumer Cciences/4-H Extension agent in Training for UT Extension in Wilson County. Barnes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Davis can be reached at email@example.com. Give your Extension office a call today at 615-444-9584.
National Endowment for Financial Education