Managing Your Finances Over the Holidays

When making a budget, don’t forget to include the hidden costs of shopping such as gas and parking. You may also need to factor in holiday household items that need to be replaced due to wear and tear. You could also consider appropriating an equal amount for each person on your gift list, or at least know in advance how much you want to spend on each gift. This is easily done by comparison shopping online before you head out to the stores. Better yet, do all your shopping online and save the cash you would have spent on gas, parking and eating out.

Staying completely out of debt over the holidays may not be possible, but a good rule of thumb is if you can’t pay it off within three months comfortably from your regular income, then the amount you are borrowing is probably too high. And if you or a loved one in your household is currently unemployed, then it may be best to avoid any debt at all.

For more advice on how to stay on budget with your holiday shopping, view the following short video produced by Mass Bankers Association:

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