Being an adult is hard. Like, they never prepared us for this in high school. I think we would have been better prepared for adulthood if high school had classes that made us use Monopoly money in real-life scenarios to pass exams. Am I right, or am I right?!
They say one of the biggest sources of tension in a relationship is money. And, it’s true. How many people do you know hide purchases from their spouse? (hey, no judgment here).
Thankfully Brian and I have always been upfront about our purchases, even to a fault. Brian lovingly calls my spending habits a “death by a thousand papercuts.”
Today I’m going to help with ideas on how to budget for holiday spending by sharing tips we’ve learned over the years that have helped keep us on the right track to improving our finances and our credit.
Tips for Healthy Spending Habits during the Holidays
A few tips to help you with spending during the holidays while keeping your budget and finances in order.
Don’t Hide Things
Be honest and upfront with your partner on your personal spending. If the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, it will be impossible to know where your money is going.
If you’re both on the same page, it will be much much easier to keep your holiday spending within your means.
Set a Budget
Look, I know we all hate that word, but we gotta call it by its name: budget. Start by making a list of all of your monthly expenses like you rent/mortgage, utilities, credit card bills, what you typically spend on groceries, monthly subscriptions (ex: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.).
Then, see how much money you have left for recreational activities like going out to dinner, coffee dates, etc. The money you have left over is what is available for holiday spending.
Then and ONLY then start considering the types of purchases you’ll be making for holiday gifts. Is this a sexy process? No, absolutely not, but it will make you feel empowered about taking control over your expenses and not going over your means.
Pay Credit Card Bills on Time
Did you know a late payment can have long-term consequences? In some instances, a single late payment can stay on your report for SEVEN YEARS. Yes, this is true.
One incorrectly-reported missed or late payment can affect your current interest rates, and even your car insurance rates. Crazy, right? It’s so important to always pay your credit card bill on time.
Check your Credit Score
Continuing from the last point, make sure that your credit report is accurate. Did you know that you could have errors on your credit report that may be affecting your score? It’s true! Imagine if your credit score reflected a missed payment that wasn’t even yours to pay!
The credit repair industry has grown significantly in recent years, creating lots of misinformation online. You need to get educated that errors can and need to be fixed on your report. It may seem overwhelming choosing who to trust or where to get help with this, but Lexington Law is the oldest and most respected firm in credit repair.
When looking to repair your credit, make sure whoever you’re working with is a CROA (Credit Repair OrganizationsAct) compliant organization. Lexington Law Firm is CROA compliant, which means it is regulated extensively with auditors and regulators.Because Lexington is a law firm, complying with legal requirements of CROA is of the utmost priority and they work diligently to carry out that duty.
Lexington Law Firm offers packages that meet every client’s needs, so if you know you could use a little help repairing your credit, I encourage you to check them out. They spearheaded a reputable, legal-based solution for customers looking to repair or improve their credit.
Plan for Long-Term Goals
Are you planning on having a retirement later on in life? Even though it may be far away from now, saving for retirement starts yesterday. Does that mean not buying the latest fashions? Not necessarily.
However, you do have to decide if having a revolving door of new outfits trumps having the means to enjoy life down the road. I’m not a big spender on clothing for many reasons, but knowing that there’s more than the here and now puts things into perspective.
Rather than spending money on a new winter coat each year (this is more for adults than your kids, since children are more likely to outgrow winter coats), invest in a nice coat that will last you several seasons. Put aside the money you’d spend on that new trendy coat towards retirement instead.
How are you working on your financial health this season?
PIN FOR LATER!
Hello, thank you so much for the tips! I definitely struggle with budgeting, even more so when the Holidays come and it’s time to buy presents for friends and family! I just can’t resist buying “that thing” that I can’t realistically afford for someone if I know how much they are going to enjoy that “thing”. I really have to get rid of that habit! Credit debts and reports are my worst nightmare as well! I just hate to check all the bills and paperwork, but it’s a necessity so nowhere to hide here. I’m absolutely using some of your methods now, thank you again!