Start Saving For The Holidays And Christmas Now

August 16, 2018

© Denys Kovtun | Dreamstime

The kids are marking their first days back from the summer vacation and as we dash in between summer thunderstorms, you realize that there are about seven paychecks remaining until Christmas. The National Retail Federation estimates the average American spends $796 on Thanksgiving and Christmas expenses, with $476 marked for gifts to family and friends. The most important thing is to not stress out over the holidays as we have plenty of time to prepare.  However some simple changes now could mean less financial stress come the end of the year.  So, money experts say if you haven't already started to plan for the holidays, you should start now.  While 77% of Americans say they stay within their holiday budget, it can become easy to overspend by a few dollars and that can add up quickly especially if you reach for a charge card with high interest to cover it.  Probably not a bad idea to skip a few nice dinners out or make a cheaper meal once a week and stash the cash savings into your Christmas fund. Seriously, open a Christmas savings or checking account so you know exactly how much you have to spend and where you can send money so it isn’t used on other things. If you are planning on traveling for Thanksgiving, experts say you should find the cheapest airline tickets within the next two weeks. So start looking and consider a flexible schedule to save even more money. If you are disciplined in paying off your credit cards, then look into applying for a new credit card that offers cash back on purchases or points redeemable for travel.  Many offer great introductory programs that pay big if you charge a certain amount within the first 3 or 4 months.  In many cases that could be hundreds of dollars back in your pocket for spending what you normally would buy and for travel cards, the points earned could pay for a flight home or to fly your loved ones here for the holidays.

SOURCE: Lifehacker

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