The holidays may have just ended, but it’s never too early to start planning for 2016’s holiday shopping expenses! We’ve compiled a few tactics you can use to start planning, saving, and working toward a stress-free holiday season, followed by a debt-free January in 2017.
Avoiding the January Blues
As we enter January, many people are experiencing those post-holiday financial blues as a result of racking up holiday debt in November and December. If you find yourself looking at your credit card statement gloomily this month, remember how it feels and commit to not feeling that way next January.
Evaluate Last Year’s Spending
Now that the holidays are over, do you know how much you spent on holiday expenses? From gifts to dinner parties, spending can pile up in November and December. Take a look at how much you spent to determine how much you need to save in 2016. For example, if you spent $1,000, you could save about $83 per month to reach the same holiday budget by December 2016.
The 52 Week Rule
This easy-to-implement saving tactic is as simple as this: save the corresponding dollar amount to each week of the year and you’ll end up with a whopping $1,378. You can do this one of two ways, start at week one and save $1 all the way to $52 at week 52, or, to lessen the burden during the holidays, you can work backwards, starting at $52 and working back to $1 to the last week of 2016.
Look for Gifts Early
If you’re like many people, you probably wait until the last minute to finish your holiday shopping. But who says you have to do your Christmas shopping between Black Friday and December 25? You can start now and spread out your holiday spending over the course of the year versus spending all at once.