How to Financially Survive the Holidays and Keep Saving

The USAA Educational Foundation

Believe it or not, the holiday season is almost upon us.

Here are two steps to help you get through what can be an expensive time of year with as few financial dings and scratches as possible. With a little luck, you may even be able to keep setting aside money
as you go.

1. Do some quick math. Start by setting a limit for how much you plan to spend on all holiday-related items. Be sure to include extras like holiday parties, meals and gatherings in addition to what you’ll spend on gifts. Subtract from that total any amount you may have already set aside for the holidays. Finally, divide that result by the number of paychecks remaining until you have to start paying for holiday things. That will tell you how much you need to set aside from each check to get through the holidays without going backward financially.

2. Reduce your planned spending (if needed). If these first two steps don’t get you there, don’t be afraid to go back and reduce the amount you initially planned to spend over the holidays. Try to separate your emotions from the equation and look at it more objectively because cutting back probably won’t be as bad as you think, and it’s usually a lot better than going into debt. Be sure to do this sooner than later, and communicate your plans to those in your life who matter. By setting proper expectations early, you’re far less likely to disappoint people – and you might even save your financial situation in the process.

Ideally you’ve been budgeting and saving all year so following these steps won’t be needed. But if not, it’s never too late to get started – even if it ends up being a very early start on next year’s holiday saving.

Happy Holidays!

The USAA Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization, does not endorse or promote any commercial supplier, product, or service.

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