The winter holiday season is upon us! Stressed out about how much holiday cheer is going to cost you this year? Fret not! We’ve got a few holiday shopping tips to help you and your wallet survive all the meals, flights and gift-giving ahead.
1. Spend money on experiences, not just things.
Sure, a new game console or a pair of shoes are appealing, but when you’re thinking about gifts—for yourself or for someone else—remember the value of experiences, too. A ticket home to see Grandma could mean a lot more to you than an iPhone X down the line.
Sometimes it’s more about what you spend your money on rather than how much you spend. Buy an experience you will remember, an experience you can share. Memories are one of the few gifts that never stop giving, and the winter holiday season is famous for them.
2. Prepare yourself for unexpected holiday purchases.
Even if you don’t have an emergency or rainy day fund lying around, it’s good to expect the unexpected. Overestimating what you’ll pay for dinners with friends and presents for your family can help keep you from running into the red every time you swipe your Qapital Visa® Debit Card.*
Some things are out of your control, for example, knowing exactly how much you’ll spend on that first night out at home with your best pals from high school or that spontaneous present you’ll buy your daughter when you see it in the store. Face the reality of holiday splurges! If you know you’re going to have hot chocolate every day it snows, then don’t lie to yourself and pretend you won’t buy one every morning. Budget it into your weekly spending.
3. Think of spending on others as spending on yourself.
As the saying goes, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” By that logic, every present you give to someone else is also a present you give yourself.
Don’t buy into the “giving is a gift in itself” ideology? Well, when you think about it, gifts that are experiences are gifts to anyone who partakes in them—including and especially you. So you treat yourself when you treat your best friend to a cup of coffee or shell out half a month’s pay to fly home for the holidays!
4. Choose debit over credit.
If you already have a Qapital Visa® Debit Card, you know the benefits of choosing debit over credit (especially when your debit card is synced up with Qapital Savings Rules). You can spend less time worrying or feeling guilty about purchases, and more time enjoying yourself over the holidays.
If you don’t have a Qapital Visa® Debit Card, what are you waiting for? They’re free, they’re sleek, and they come with our exclusive Weekly Spending Target budgeting tool.
5. Small indulgences can make the holidays feel decadent. Embrace them.
Everyone gives in to their guilty pleasures some time or another—those small indulgences that you crave all year long, all week long, all day long. Giving in to what Qapital’s Chief Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely refers to as the “what the hell effect” is all too normal. Enjoy what you know you can’t resist, and if you treat yourself to something nice, let go of the guilt before it grips you. Never underestimate the power of little things over our happiness.
Happy holiday spending!
*Issued by Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC