The holiday season is fast approaching, and before you know it, you’ll be neck deep in wrapping paper, family, and holiday parties. The holidays are also the biggest spending season of the year. The average family spends around $1,000 for the holiday season, which can be a major drain on your savings.
This year, instead of just draining your savings and trying to rebuild in the new year, start saving for the holidays now! That way, you have a set amount to work with and don’t risk going into debt or having less savings. We’ve got some tips to help you save up for the coming holidays.
Know How Much You’ll Be Spending
Before you can make a savings goal, you need to know how much to save for. If you are wanting to cover all of your major holiday expenses, you first need to figure out how much that is going to be.
A good place to start is to look at what you’ve spent in years past. Consult your credit card statements, account history, and Amazon orders to get a good idea how much you’ve spent previously. Look at what you spent on gifts, foods, parties, and anything else holiday related.
Another way to figure out how much you’ll be spending is to look ahead on gifts you’ll be buying. If you already know how much money you’ll spend on each person, or know what gifts they want, you can predict the total costs for the holiday season.
By knowing how much you’ll be spending, you can start making a plan on how to save up for it! Let’s say your cost will be around $1,000. You can then make plans on how to save up for that expense, such as cutting expenses each month equaling $1,000, or pick up extra work to earn that much.
Make a Holiday Budget
Hopefully, you already have a budget you are sticking to, but in order to save up for the holidays, you might need to tweak it. So pull out your monthly budget and take a good look at it.
Take how much you are predicting to spend, and then break it up between the upcoming months to the holidays. So, for example, if you’re expecting to spend $1,000, try to save up $333 each month; October, November and December. This is now your monthly saving goal.
The first step to reaching your saving goal is to look for places to save money. What expenses do you have that you can cut? This could include eating out, buying non-essentials, cancelling subscriptions, and more! You should also look at ways to save on essential items, like food or electricity. Every penny saved can go towards paying for the holidays.
Keep the Money Saved Separate
If you need help keeping yourself focused and honest, it’s a smart idea to have a way to keep the holiday money separate from the rest of your savings. This is so you don’t accidentally spend the holiday money or think you have more money saved than you actually do.
When separating the money, it’s not a bad idea to do it so you know exactly how much money you have and don’t mix it with your normal spending money. This could include pulling your holiday money out as cash and keeping it somewhere safe, putting it on a prepaid card, or into a separate savings account.
If you need a place to keep the money safe, Pioneer has a Special Purpose Savings Account that is perfect for this. You deposit the money you’ve saved for the holidays and can keep it separate from the rest of your finances. Then, when it’s time to use it, you pull the money out or transfer it to your checking account.
Plan Out Purchases Now and Start Looking for Deals
Especially if you already know what you're going to buy for everyone on your gift list, getting ahead of the expenses is a good idea. The extra time you have for holiday shopping means you can hunt for the best deals and spread out your purchases. Rather than getting caught up in the quick deals and hectic choices of holiday shopping, you can stay calm and patient to find good deals.
With a little research, you can figure out which items on your shopping list will have the best deals and which ones won’t. You can start buying those items that won’t have good deals now and get them out of the way. That way, when the big deals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday come, you can focus solely on the money saving items.
Use a Credit Card and Earn Points
Just because you saved up the money for it doesn’t mean you should just pay for everything in cash. As long as you don’t put yourself deep in debt, a credit card can give you a lot of advantages when holiday shopping.
The biggest benefit to shopping with a credit card is earning reward points with every purchase. Depending on the card, this could mean earning points for airfare, gas, gift cards, or even cash back.
Especially with how much shopping happens during the holiday season, between gifts, eating out, travel, and more, using a credit card is an incredibly smart choice. You’ll rack up points you can use throughout the year, or even during the holiday season.
Pioneer’s VISA credit card is no exception here. Everytime you use your Pioneer credit card, you earn 1 point for every dollar spent. So if you’re expecting to spend the avera $1,000, that will be 1000 Rewards! points you can spend. Pioneer’s Rewards! program lets you redeem those points for airfare, gift cards, experiences, or even donate it to charity. Apply for a Pioneer credit card today and start earning Rewards! points.
Learn more about Pioneer's VISA credit card