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Surviving the Holiday Shopping Storm

The holidays have just finished, the family is gone and all the presents have been opened. Life is beginning to get back to normal until you get a bill in the mail. Then another. And another. You slowly begin to regret having to charge all of your holiday purchases to your credit cards. If only you’d been smarter about your holiday saving and spending!

Curb holiday overspending by carrying only the amount of cash you need for your gifts.

Curb holiday overspending by carrying only the amount of cash you need for your gifts.

Well, this year you’re in luck because Iowa State Bank is here to help you make it through the holidays in a thriftier manner. The following are a few budgeting and financial tips to help you save some change and avoid those annoying post-holiday bills.

  • Save for a holiday budget- ideally you would’ve been doing this for a little while now, but it’s not too late. You may have to make a few sacrifices like eating out, Netflix or other luxuries.
  • Make a list for every person- know what you’re going to get each person, then look on online for price comparisons to find the best deals. Then, you should…
  • List what you need from each store- nothing contributes more toward overspending than buying things you don’t need. Make a list for each store you visit and stick to it.
  • Create a spending plan- can you financially handle buying all your gifts at one time, or does your income require you to spread it out? You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin.
  • Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday- yes, it can be majorly stressful. But you can’t argue with the deals, and even getting to stores around 10 or 11 a.m. will give you access to steals on all sorts of gifts. Great deals can also be found at online retailers, with many offering free shipping to entice you to buy.
  • Go cash only- to prevent overspending, bring only as much cash as you’ve budgeted for; leave the credit and debit cards at home.

As financial guide Dave Ramsey says, “budgeting is just spending your money with intention.” By taking time to budget and prepare yourself for holiday shopping blitz, you can make these holidays and the few months after a happier, less stressful time. Good luck from Iowa State Bank, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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