With the holidays drawing near people often get caught up with the excitement and overspend, dipping into their savings. Investing may be the last thing on your mind and seem impossible but there are many ways you can invest smartly.
Spend less on yourself
When spending so much on others you may need to take a break spending on yourself. This might mean preparing food at home more instead of eating out. You can also avoid making smaller purchases like coffee or going to the movies. Instead of making these purchases figure out how much you would have spent and deposit it into your savings instead. You may not notice a difference at first, but it will make a huge difference over time.
Make a budget
Figure out how much you can spend in total on friends and family and make a budget for each person. Keeping track every individual person you are spending money on will help make sure you don’t leave anyone off or accidentally spending more than you should.
Create a shopping list
Now that you know how much you can spend on everyone make a list of what you plan to get. Doing this will make sure you are not overspending while shopping and will keep you focused on what you are getting. This will keep you from adding things to your cart as you go an ending up with a higher bill than you planned. Not only does making a list help with overspending it also helps relieve your stress when you walk into the store and are overwhelmed by displays.
The earlier you start shopping the less likely you will have to run to the store the day of and spend more money than you were planning. Although the holidays may not cross your mind before December it is suggested to start your shopping in August or September. This gives you the time to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck and aren’t left spending more out of convenience. Even if you are not ready to start shopping early you can start putting money away.
Give something homemade
If you can’t afford to be spending a lot of money on store-bought gifts trying to make some of your own. Some fun and creative ideas include making letters, doing crafts, creating “coupons”, or baking treats. These gifts are from the heart and show the recipient that you care enough to put time into their gift.
Start automated deposits
While your spending money during the holidays it is easy to forget to save. To make sure you are putting some money in the bank set up automatic deposits. It is suggested to have those deposits go to a Money Market account which usually has higher dividend rates than checking and savings accounts.