It’s the last quarter of the year. Are you financially ready for all that is to come?
With the holidays right around the corner and the new year rapidly approaching, your finances can easily go left if you are not careful. The commercials with the hottest items, the emails for online sales, the Christmas lists, the gathering of friends and New Year’s Eve… all enough to make the savviest miss their financial goals without proper planning.
Here are 6 things you should be doing this 4th quarter of the year, to keep your finances on point.
Check your Holiday Savings Account
One way to make sure you have cash for the holiday season, is to start at the beginning of the year. Create a savings account specifically for this time of year, determine how much you would like to save for the year and transfer funds to this account on a monthly basis.
Now that it’s 4th quarter, check the balance in your Holiday Savings Account and set your spending budget based on the balance.
Take A Look at Your Credit Cards
Double check the balances and the perks on each card. Determine which card(s) you will be using for the holiday season, based on current balances (which should be $0 or really low) and the perks offered. Used those cards for shopping and travel. Be sure to use the funds from the Holiday Savings Account to pay the balances off when the credit card statement arrives.
Create Your Holiday Gift List
List everyone for which you will be buying a gift. Don’t forget the gift exchanges at work, with friends, family, clubs and sororities.
Take a look at the Holiday Gift List and set a maximum gift amount for each person on the list and don’t exceed that amount. Be sure to shop small businesses first especially those of your friends and family.
Research stock prices for brands you and your children buy often. Buy shares of stock in those companies for Holiday gifts. If you wear tons of Nike gear, you should have shares of stock in Nike as well.
Research Travel Prices
If you know you will be traveling for the Holiday season, start looking at plane fares and Air BNB prices now. This gives you a couple weeks to watch for prices and book when you find the best deal. Use your credit cards for the tickets and reservations to earn the perks and be sure to pay off the balances, with the funds from your Holiday Savings Account, when the credit card statement arrives.
Don’t be so rigid that you don’t enjoy the Holiday Season but don’t ball out of control and destroy your finances in the process.
If you didn’t have a Holiday Savings Account this year, be sure to set one up for next year.