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holiday spending tips

How to Make the Most Out of Your Holiday Shopping Without Breaking Budget

Budgeting / October 15, 2020

Everyone wants to get the best gifts for their family and friends, but sometimes the joy of giving can really damage a budget. As local bankers in the Kansas City area, Cornerstone Bank doesn’t believe you have to choose between buying presents and saving money. In fact, with some of our holiday spending tips, you can get the best of both worlds!

If you want to make the most out of your holiday spending this year, keep reading and we’ll outline some best practices. 

Create a realistic budget

Don’t tell yourself you’re only spending $300 on every single family member and all your friends (don’t forget the college students!), if that’s not feasible. We recommend going back to last year and seeing how much you spent and on what. Were there places you could have found something on sale? Gifts you probably didn’t need to buy? Dupes that bring the same results? From your expenditure last year, you can create a realistic budget that considers how much you usually spend and where you can make cuts. It may even be beneficial to go a few years back to get a full picture. 

The moment you make a budget that isn’t realistic is the moment you may become more stressed. If you’re too strict, you could get frustrated you can’t buy the gifts you want to buy. However, some financial situations require a more strict budget, so really sit down and look at all sides to make those tough calls.

Choose wisely between your debit and credit card

The decision on whether to use your debit or credit card for holiday spending should remain at the forefront of your mind. While it may be tempting to just pull out the credit card, you want to consider factors such as: 

  • Budget
  • Returns and refunds
  • Cash back rewards
  • Credit score
  • Credit utilization

For some people, using their credit card is the best option to get rewards, build credit, and plan ahead. Other people may work best and follow their budget better when they are pulling money directly from their checking account through a debit card.

Have someone to keep you accountable

Whether that’s a significant other, best friend, or even a parent, try to have someone who will make sure you stick to your budget. We’re not saying you have to tell that person (especially if they aren’t involved with your finances) your entire financial story, but it could help to say, “Hey, here’s my budget. Could you check in on me to make sure I don’t go over it?” If it’s someone you really trust, you can send them receipts or even a spreadsheet of how much you have spent on gifts. That will also help you stay organized and on track! 

Don’t be afraid to say no 

We understand you don’t want to let anyone down, but if you can’t afford a certain gift, there’s nothing wrong with being honest and saying you can’t get it. You can always find something else that your friends and family will love that won’t break your budget. Remember, the holidays aren’t just about gifts; they’re about sharing moments with loved ones. Don’t feel bad if you can’t buy everything that you wanted to buy this year—it happens to all of us! In many cases, people overspend because they don’t want to disappoint others, but that only leaves them with a hefty credit card bill or drains their checking account. 

Learn more holiday spending tips with Cornerstone Bank. 

More than anything, our bankers are here to help you with any of your financial needs. Since 2001, we have been a primary resource for our customers across the Kansas City metro and the country. We take pride in watching our customers thrive, no matter who you are. 

We always put our customers first, and that means giving them the best banking has to offer. We don’t believe in simple banking; rather, we go above and beyond to help our customers make their money work for them. 

For more information, visit our Overland Park office or give us a call at 913-239-8100 to let us know how we can help.