Finance &
The Consumer

Last Minute Special Occasion Saving Tips

Many of us face a rapidly approaching birthday, holiday, annual trip or some other important event. We prepare ourselves to spend what we earn and don’t earn for holiday gifts, parties, and events. We charge our credit cards freely and really get in to the sprit of giving; after all, these special events are truly an exciting time for many.

When the dust settles and the joyous occasion has passed the bills arrive and we come down from our high to a familiar reality. We have managed to get in debt yet another year using credit cards that will take months to pay off if we are lucky.

If you have not already saved for annual occasion, holiday, special occasions, or adventures, below are tips you may use to ease the potential credit card pain for months to follow.

Set Up a Special Saving Budget

  • Make a list of all possible expenses. This may include:
    1. task or errands you may have to do (What are your tasks and how much will it cost to complete them (ex: buying gas to run herons),
    2. events you may attend or host (What will it cost to attend or host an event),
    3. gifts you may purchase, and
    4. additional groceries you may have to purchase.
  • Prioritize all possible expenses identified in the prior step. You should place the most important expenses or todo items at the top of your list.

  • Place an estimated price tag on each gift, event, groceries, etc. to get an idea of how much you will need to spend.

  • Take a deep breath and total each expense to get your total estimated expenses. You know have a first draft of a potential budget.

  • Analyze your first draft budget verses your planned holiday expenditures to determine how much extra money is needed to get through the holiday without creating debt.

Now that you have identified and set up a rough budget, you can now begin to look at ways to cut cost, make adjustments, and begin to fund your last minute savings. Once you complete this task, You can know begin to think about creative ways to pr vent a windfall of possible debt..

Tips To Additional Cost Cutting & Funding Last Minute Savings

  • Use a special account for last minutes earnings and holiday savings.

  • Fund your special account by:
    1. Setting up a automatic transfer of all extra funds for deposit into your new account no matter how small.
    2. Working over time if needed to fund this account.
    3. Working a second job, if overtime is not available.
    4. Cleaning out your attic and having a yard sell.
    5. Opening an eBay account to sell old books, toys or any other item you do not mind getting rid of.
    6. You get the point.
  • Stop allowing other to nickel and dime you. Nickel and dime yourself by trimming the fat off of each category of weekly and monthly spending.

    1. Brown bag your lunch during the week.
    2. Eat in for dinner (pot luck with friends once or twice a week instead).
    3. Attend free events during the fall months instead of ones that cost).
    4. shop using coupons ( make a list and buy items that you need).
    5. Car Pool or take public transportation to save on gas.
    6. Insulate your home and turn down the thermostat and wear a sweater to save on heating bills.
    7. See if your utility company can put you on a fixed month bill.
    8. Come up with creative ways to pinch pennies, it could be lots of fun.

Shop wisely and save

  • Begin to search for bargains for each and every items (check sales, shop eBay,, or local bargain stores and outlets, etc.). Many holiday sales have already begun. (Shop early to get great deals and give yourself time to exchange a gift).

  • Purchase a gift card that will allow them to enjoy their special activity. (Example: My daughter loves to go to Barnes & Nobel and purchase hot white chocolate to drink while reading. I purchased a gift card for $75.00 and an ipod, she lost her ipod and doesn’t use other gifts at all, but she made use of the card for months after the holiday ended. My wife loves to pick up a “cheappuccino” on occasion from a local store where we live; so, I purchased a gift card that lasted several months that she loves as well.)

  • Be creative and personable with your gifts it goes a long way.

Don’t buy gifts you like for yourself. Pay attention to the person and purchase the special gift that he or she will truly enjoy. What every you decide to do, make it work for the holiday season and stay out of dept. Keep in mind that trendy item are usually just that, most consumer do not use trendy items once they gotten over them which is usually very quickly.

More saving tips

By:Robert Vaughan:Nov 1, 2007 - 300x250

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