The holidays are upon us, and so is the season of overeating and overspending. Although the average person only gains two to five pounds during the holidays, that same person may pile on 40 percent more debt on their credit cards during that same time.
And here’s another statistic: the average consumer will spend $786 on holiday gifts this year, and 30% will spend more than $1000. Do you have an extra $700 laying around this month?
It’s a bit late to do anything about this year’s holiday spending, but let’s talk about what you can do next year. How about a Christmas Club account at your local credit union? If you start your 2014 holiday saving next month, you can save for the holidays a little at a time, which is way better than racking up your credit cards the last month of the year.
According to this article in The Wichita Eagle, Christmas Club accounts (and layaway options at retails stores) used to be popular avenues to keep holiday spending under control.
“More than four decades ago, layaway was a common method used by consumers to pay for holiday gifts. So, too, were Christmas Club savings accounts, which allowed consumers to routinely set aside a certain amount of money and, at the end of a 12-month period, withdraw the amount they had saved plus interest, then use that to pay for Christmas.”
So, to keep you in the black for next holidays season, determine your budget for the holidays, and start setting aside money monthly in January. These funds should be in addition to your regular savings goals and budget requirements.
Yes, we know it’s hard, especially when those holidays bills start rolling in. Keep in mind you may need to cut back on your spending for a few months to get yourself back on track…just like you’ll need to cut back on those holiday sweets so you can quit wearing those sweatpants.
By starting your holiday saving now, you won’t put yourself into holiday debt then and the holidays might be more enjoyable for you.
As for the overeating…well, we can’t help you with that!