Staying on budget can be challenging, but it becomes even tougher during the holidays. Expenses tend to pile up this time of year, from shopping to parties and traveling. While initial planning and saving early on is helpful, there are other ways to manage holiday spending and stick to your budget during the season!

Make A List & Check it Twice

Making a list of every gift recipient, the budget for their gifts and other holiday expenses for special events hosted or attended is an essential first step in sticking to a budget. Once you have an idea of what you plan to spend in each category, add it to calculate the total budget. This will allow for any adjustments to the budget, so you don’t spend more than you can afford. It’s also important to remember that the holiday season can come with twists and turns, so keeping this list accessible for any updates to your holiday spending plans allows for flexibility without going over budget.

Mix in Homemade Gifts

Giving homemade gifts not only lies at the heart of the season, but it can be a great way to cut down your spending! Those with a talent for baking and crafting or who offer services like snow shoveling makes excellent gifts that cost little to no cash up front. Many of these gifts are easy to learn and make a great backup plan if you are already tightening your holiday budget.

Use Cash or Debit

Using cash or a debit card connected to a Checking Account can be a great way to stay within budget. During the holidays, using a credit card can create the temptation to go over your budget with the mindset that the money you are spending is not technically being paid yet. This can cause an overflow of holiday debt once the season ends. On the bright side, using a Debit Card from Mechanics Cooperative Bank is just as convenient as a credit card, with great account benefits such as FREE Tap to Pay for easy payments and FREE Mobile Banking to monitor your holiday spending on the go!

Invest Time in Deal Searching

During the holidays, retailers compete for business by providing the best prices. Shoppers who compare prices before buying can get the most out of their budgets by paying the best prices. Keep in mind the lowest prices can be found around major shopping holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Depending on the popularity of the gift, sometimes buying certain items early can save you from any reseller or high-demand price hikes.

Trying to stay within your holiday budget? Monitor your spending this season with a Free Choice Checking Account from Mechanics Cooperative Bank! Contact us today to get started.