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Holiday Spending Tips

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So, we've made it through Thanksgiving... now onto the rest of the holiday season! The holiday music is beginning and we start to see lights on our neighbors houses. While the fun begins to build, it can also be a financially stressful time. Americans plan to spend an average of $935 on holiday gifts this year, according to the National Retail Federation...  $140 gets spent on themselves as well while shopping, bringing the whopping total to $1,075. Ouch! If you're starting to feel the stress creep in, here are three helpful spending tips for the holiday season. 

Annual Housekeeping. End subscriptions, cancel memberships and eliminate old auto-pays you don’t use or forgot about. It may be the time to stop cable and rely on your Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services. The average cable bill rings in at about$103 a month--- is the extra $1,200/year worth it for your family?  

Rent out your place while you are away for the holidays. AirBnB, Roomorama or FlipKey. They have low or free host fees. Pay to clean your place and launder your sheets and towel for your guest. Could put an extra $1,000 into your pocket right when you need it. 

Use cash, not credit. The average post holiday shopper with debt adds an additional $986 by January, according to a survey by Magnify Money. To keep tabs on your cash as the days dwindle on 2016, pick-up a free budgeting app like Mint or YouNeedaBudget. Use your debit card, not credit, so you don't spend money you do not have.

These small spending changes can make a huge difference over time. Start the new year off fresh and in charge of your finances. Avoiding holiday debt can put you ahead come January 1 and relieve unnecessary stress. Happy Holidays and enjoy the season! 

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