Budgets and finances often become a cause for concern during the holiday season. Before you begin browsing online or mapping out your shopping strategy, take a moment to create a holiday spending plan that will allow you to spend thoughtfully while avoiding buyer’s remorse. When preparing your spending plan, consider the following:
- Develop a budget based on your normal, reoccurring expenses, plus any additional costs associated with the holidays. This will allow you to determine the amount you have available to spend without causing yourself future stress.
- Create a list of the items you want to purchase and an estimated cost.
- Get creative by using homemade mixes, recipes, frames, and handmade crafts for gifts.
- Determine ahead of time how you will be paying for items (cash, credit card, savings, etc.). If you are using cash, only bring the allotted amount. If you are using credit cards remember to pay the bill immediately to avoid accruing interest fees.
- Track your spending, this will help to ensure you are staying on budget and avoid future surprises.
- Be a smart shopper by comparing prices and quality across different stores.
- Plan for short-term and long-term financial goals.
Wherever you are on your financial journey, you can prepare yourself to make informed financial decisions with the resources from the Financial Literacy and Education Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Your Employee Assistance Program is Here to Support
If you are looking for additional financial information, your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help. EAP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you manage your financial concerns. For more information or for help in contacting your EAP, you can reach your DHS Work-Life specialists at email@example.com.