With the holiday season in full swing, many people are bracing themselves and their bank accounts for the inevitable impact. While it may be impossible to avoid spending this December engaging in holiday festivities, there’s no reason to start the new year in the red. Patrick Swindale, an honors student at the Loeb School for International Business at Maine Maritime Academy, is here with three tips for a budget-savvy holiday.
3 Personal Finance Tips for the Holiday Season
1. Make a List of Expenses
Gifts likely make up the majority of your holiday expenses. But there are other items to account for as well. This includes cards, wrapping paper, charitable donations, shipping, and travel. If you’re buying new clothes for holiday parties or contributing food or drinks at gatherings, include those costs too.
2. Determine a Spending Limit
Determine how much you have to spend on holiday expenses after you cover your personal expenses, such as rent, groceries, utilities, transportation, etc. When determining how much you can spend on holiday goodies, try not to eat into the rest of your budget to accommodate. Most people on your gift list likely appreciate thoughtful gifts more than expensive ones anyway, Patrick Swindale advises.
3. Beware of Doorbusters
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a slew of “doorbuster” deals are enticing. But Patrick Swindale warns research shows at many retailers, there isn’t a significant difference between one-day promotions and regular holiday sales. Also, some shops may mark up costs before the holiday season to create the appearance of a massive markdown. Before you make costly purchases, research to determine the item’s market value and ensure you get a fair price.
More on Patrick Swindale
Patrick Swindale works full-time as an engineer at HMS Global Maritime, Inc. and maintains a 4.0 grade-point average at the Loeb School for International Business at Maine Maritime Academy where he is studying for his Masters of Science in International Logistics Management. When Patrick Swindale is not at work or in class, he spends time with his family and takes his autistic brother, of whom he is a legal guardian, to the gym or hiking five days a week.
An Eagle Scout and former assistant scoutmaster, Patrick Swindale is community-minded and spends his remaining hours giving back. He assists with his old Scout group and local charity efforts and has participated in St. John Bosco Youth Group and Knights of Columbus. Patrick Swindale is also a regular speaker at his church.