The excitement of the holidays is just around the corner. The shopping, parties, feasting, and gift-giving can all add up to a very merry couple of months. Holidays in Virginia and West Virginia can also add up to big expenses and a mountain of debt in the new year. Protect your finances this season with planning and budgeting that will account for your spending without breaking the bank.
According to NerdWallet’s annual holiday shopping survey, 52 percent of Americans racked up credit card debt from holiday spending last year, and 31 percent still have not paid off their balances. Don’t let debt and overspending ruin the holiday season for your family this year. Learn how to budget for the holidays and save money on your purchases with these 2023 holiday budgeting tips from PCB.
Predict Your Purchases
The best way to avoid overspending this holiday season is to plan your purchases in advance. Make a list of what you will buy and stick to it. Start by writing down everything you want to purchase this season, including gifts, new decorations, holiday clothing, and extra food and drink for any parties you plan to host. If you are traveling for the holidays, don’t forget to include the cost of gas, airline tickets, and hotel stays.
Estimate Your Costs
Next, you’ll want to research and price out everything you have listed to purchase. Add up your total expected holiday cost and determine if it’s manageable. If the estimated cost of your 2023 holiday spending is too high, prioritize your list and calculate how much the top-priority purchases will cost you. While the average American spends close to $1,500 on holiday purchases, that number can be a lot higher depending on your location and lifestyle. For holiday shopping budget tips, research Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and focus on completing your gift and decoration spending during these times.
Split Your Direct Deposit
The easiest way to save for the holidays is with direct deposit. If you already send your paycheck to your checking account each month, you can modify your setting to also include deposits into a Christmas Club savings account. Directing just $50 a paycheck could add up to over a thousand dollars put aside for the holiday season. Open a savings account dedicated to holiday spending and add it to your direct deposit plan today!
Cut Back on Nonessential Items
You may be able to adjust your current budget now to start saving for future holiday spending. The best holiday budgeting tips include cutting back on restaurant, entertainment, and impulse spending to free up money for the holidays. According to a OnePoll survey, the average American spends $1,497 a month on non-essential items. That’s almost $18,000 a year in unnecessary spending. When it comes to cutting back on your spending, every little bit helps and cleaning up your budget can go a long way. Take a look through your monthly spending and find expenses you can cut such as:
- Rarely watched streaming services
- Unused gym memberships
- Frequent restaurant dining
- Forgotten app subscriptions on your phone
- Recurring subscription boxes
Reap the Rewards
Are you still shopping with cash, a debit card, or even paper checks? A rewards credit card can help this season. Not only is a PCB Visa Platinum® a secure payment method that protects you from theft and fraud, but your spending earns rewards that can help lighten your holiday budget. Apply today and use your PCB rewards credit card throughout the year. You’ll earn a point for every dollar spent and can redeem your points for merchandise or travel. Unlike cash or debit, a rewards credit card can help you reach your goals this holiday season.
Monitor Your Spending
While it’s a good idea to track your spending throughout the year, it is especially important to keep a close eye on your bank accounts during the holidays. PCB’s Mobile Banking lets you see your transactions, deposit checks, and pay bills from your cell phone. Holiday scams are rampant at the end of the year, so you need mobile banking alerts to quickly inform you of any new purchases and unauthorized spending. Tracking your purchases with mobile banking during the 2023 holiday season will help you plan a better holiday budget next year.
Save Money by Volunteering
Looking to spread some joy without adding to your holiday expenses? Instead of buying food, drinks, decorations, and entertainment for a party in your home, consider organizing a group volunteer event. Volunteering at a clothing drive, toy collection, or soup kitchen can increase your holiday cheer, decrease your holiday spending, and raise the spirits of those in need. Keep your eye on our social media accounts for more information about upcoming volunteer opportunities.
Consider a Holiday Loan
If you didn’t have time to save for the holidays this year, avoid high interest credit cards and consider a small loan to cover your holiday expenses. PCB has the perfect solution in Quilo. Quilo provides personal loans between $250 and $20,000 depending on your credit criteria. The best part about Quilo is the fact that you can apply online and qualify, then decide if you need the loan later. A Quilo holiday loan is just another way you can responsibly plan your spending this holiday season.
The Holidays are Right Around the Corner
Get help budgeting for the holidays in Virginia, Northern West Virginia, and Southern West Virginia. At PCB we have the right checking accounts, savings accounts, rewards credit cards, and personal loans to help you navigate the holidays with plenty of cheer and financial responsibility.