Budgeting during the holidays
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Christmas is a peak spending time, but before you spend too much, it’s always wise to have a budgeting plan.
This week’s guest co-host John Cowan brings The Three his expertise as a Senior Vice President of Simmons Bank.
The first thing to holiday spending, Cowan says, is to have a plan of how much you want to spend, and plan out your purchases.
“In an ideal world, we would have that annual budget or that monthly budget,” said Cowan. “So at least set the budget at what you want to spend this Christmas. In addition to the gifts, think about the travel costs, the meals, things like that. You’re going to be spending a lot for Christmas. Make sure you account for everything.”
Next, Cowan explains that you should plan to shop early, and stick to your budgeted goal.
“Try to avoid those impulsive purchases. We go to the store, we see something we say, ‘oh I got to have it’. But, it’s not in the budget, it’s not what you planned for that person.”
With sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday over, Cowan says people can still get a great deal by couponing.
“I think looking for things like coupons, promo codes,” said the Senior Vice President. “One of the other things I suggest is if you are in a store and looking for a certain item, we all have smartphones. Grab that phone, do some price checking at some of the other locations, and see if you can get it cheaper somewhere else for a two to three minute drive across town.”
When discussing the use of cash or credit, Cowan states it depends on the individual.
“If they know they pay that credit card off at the end of the month, then absolutely- go ahead and use that credit card. If not, that bill is going to come next month, you’re going to have to prepare how to pay for it then. So if you can use cash or that debit card, it’s tying off the balances you have just like cash.”
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