The time is not only approaching to make a list and check it twice, but tis the season to practice discipline with your spending and write down your goals.
In addition, to decking the halls, it’s important to check the four walls this holiday season, said Presley Nelson, a branch manager at Chase.
“The four walls are home, transportation, utilities, and food. Those are the things you want to make sure are in order and once they are in order you know what extra money you have,” Nelson said.
The key to avoiding overspending during this holiday season is to have discipline.
“Discipline is a way to not spend all of your money, especially in your savings. A lot of times we use our emergency fund and that’s only supposed to be for emergencies. If your car breaks down or you have to fix something in the house, that’s an emergency.”
One way to practice discipline is write out your budget to see where you can save extra money you. Once you have that number Chase offers a digital tool called, Autosave. Autosave allows you to create an automatic savings goal. Which can be especially helpful for holiday spending.
Nelson also said that avoiding unnecessary spending requires a mentality shift. “You have to own that you don’t want to overspend. It’s a choice we can make a choice to go to work, we can choose to spend,” Nelson said. We can choose to do everything and anything. Once you stay within your guidelines you won’t overspend. That goes into creating barriers.”
Tirzah Farley, a 26-year-old Gallaudet University student who recently took a financial health workshop, said budgeting is the key to staying on track this holiday season.
“A budget builder is the best way to save knowing people typically spend more around this time period. Budgeting is one of the important skills to have in our daily life,” Farley responded through email.
With a budget builder, spending is itemized so consumers can see what they’re spending money on.
Nelson said another way to control spending is by using a check ledger.
“This is going to sound very old school, but the check ledger is your friend. A lot of times we depend on the mobile app and online banking, but if you have a pending transaction you may think you have more money in your account than you do. This is how people can easily go into overdraft.”
Nelson also cautions about credit card usage during the holidays.
“Sometimes people think it’s free money. It’s not. You get a limit, but you have to make sure you don’t go over that limit,” Nelson said, adding that credit card balances should be paid off monthly. “Be responsible with your credit cards. The holiday season is credit card season, and if you’re going to get a credit card be responsible. if you’re not able to pay the balance in full every month, the balance starts to build up and you’ll end up in debt. If you’re not able to cover your statement balance don’t use credit cards.”
Nelson advises consumers to delay instant gratification and really think about purchase.
“We have to be mindful of our spending,” Nelson said as he gave the following scenario:
“If you go get breakfast from Starbucks every day, that’s about $5 or $6 for a cup of coffee. A breakfast sandwich is another $5. You have spent $12, and you haven’t even eaten lunch. Lunch is $15. You’re at $27 a day. That’s $135 a week. You can actually go to a grocery store, meal prep for $50, have lunch for two weeks and put the rest of the money in savings,” Nelson said.
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