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5 Ways To Keep Your Budget On Track This Holiday Season

Pumpkins and squash and at a market

The start of a new season can bring excitement and change – but it can also mean changes to your spending habits with more opportunities to spend on seasonal items and activities. From festive foods and event admission costs to holiday décor and gifts, you might find your wallet opening more often and your budget feeling tighter around this time of year. Here are 5 tips you can use to keep your budget on track this holiday season.

Avoid Impulse Buys

You might discover a beautiful display of pumpkin-themed home goods, accessories, or food items at your local store… and you might want to bring home every single thing! The holiday season provides an abundance of unique and limited-edition seasonal merchandise that’s probably more appealing to the heart than to the wallet. Spending money impulsively can lead to debt and budget setbacks that prevent you from reaching your financial goals.

The best method to avoid impulse buys is to begin your shopping trip by making a plan that helps you avoid spontaneous purchases. Make a shopping list of your essentials and stick to it while you’re at the store. You can also create a budget for your shopping trip with a set dollar amount beforehand so you know how much you can safely spend. Being aware of your spending, having a shopping plan prepared in advance, and keeping your financial goals top of mind can keep you on track and make it easier to resist those impulse purchases.

Reuse Décor Or Buy Secondhand

With each year that passes, new décor trends and styles emerge that might leave you looking at your own holiday decorations with boredom and dissatisfaction. It can be tempting to follow trends and try a new holiday decorating style, but trends are often fleeting and don’t tend to stick around for too long. This can lead to storage bins and closets overflowing with décor that gets used once and then is packed away for good.

Reusing holiday décor year after year not only saves you money but can also create long-standing traditions that stir up nostalgia while you’re decorating. If you want to make updates or additions to your decorations, consider buying them secondhand to make it happen for less money! Browse your local thrift store where many people donate their holiday clutter or try your hand at a fun holiday DIY project.

Seek Out Free Activities

Many communities host free events that are family-friendly and give you the opportunity to experience local entertainment and make memories without spending a dime. With some research and planning, you can take advantage of these events without putting a damper on your budget.

Check your community’s website for an event calendar or visit your local library’s bulletin board where event flyers may be posted. You could also subscribe to community newsletters or follow local social media posts from your library, community newspaper, parks and recreation department, or community event center to learn about free events.

Cook From Home

One of the best ways to save money and stick to your budget is to avoid dining out. Frequent trips to the drive thru or your favorite restaurants may seem convenient at the time, but the costs can add up quickly and send your budget out of control.

Creating a weekly meal plan will help you stick to your grocery list and budget to avoid unnecessary purchases and food waste. Cooking from home also gives you the opportunity to try new recipes and might give you some leftovers to make your dollar stretch further. Plus, packing leftovers for lunch will prevent you from finding yourself in a pinch at work the following day and spending additional money.

Use A Checking Account With No Hidden Fees

It’s important to use the right financial tools to help you reach your money goals and keep your budget on track. Make sure you are using a checking account that doesn’t have pesky fees or hard-to-reach usage requirements. Some checking accounts charge monthly maintenance fees or require that you use your debit card a certain number of times per month to avoid a charge. These fees can add up and take funds away from your budget.

If your current checking account makes it difficult for you to make the most of your money, it might be time to switch! Royal’s Smart Checking account  has no monthly fees and no minimum balance to give you the freedom to manage your money according to your budget. By ditching the fees that other financial institutions have, you get to keep more of your money to use for dinner supplies or those secondhand decorations!

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