A little homework before the holidays can save you a huge headache in the New Year, when the bills start rolling in.
The holidays are fast approaching, but the cost of Christmas this year could be a little higher than you anticipated.
Here are some tips on how to keep the higher prices from hurting your vacation.
âSome of the problems are you might not even be able to get the items. There are things people order now that they are out of stock, âsaid Danny Ratliff, certified financial planner with RIA Advisors.
Costs are increasing everywhere.
âYou go to the grocery store, you go to the pump, and we’ll definitely see that with the Christmas shopping,â Ratliff said.
In September, the consumer price index for all items was up 5.4% from a year ago.
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âThis is one of those years when I think it’s going to be easy to overspend,â Ratliff said.
Above all, he advises having a budget. Make a list and stick to it.
âDo something or offer an experience. And it’s a great way to save money but also create memories along the way, âRatliff said.
When it comes to parties, potlucks and gift exchanges are great money-saving substitutes.
âThe old-fashioned white elephant gift exchange, I think that’s something that’s a good way to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to put a price on that. âNobody goes out of their way too much and usually everyone comes home with a wacky gift that you’re going to talk about next year,â Ratliff said.
Outside of the holidays, daily shopping is already taking a hit. He says do your research, plan meals for the week in advance, try to leave your kids at home, and stick to generic labels.
And if you’re buying in bulk, make sure that makes sense.
âThere are a lot of times we see that if we go to HEB and you do the math on what it costs per product, versus Sam’s Club or Costco, you might be better off staying in the smaller one. store, not in the big box store, âRatliff said.
A little homework before the holidays can prevent a huge headache in this New Year.
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