The holidays are just around the corner, but the holidays don’t have to bust your budget. It’s possible to enjoy the holiday cheer and reach your goal of saving for a home.
Below are some tips from ACTS Housing’s Director of Homebuyer Counseling that can keep you on track as you plan to make holiday purchases.
- Make a list: Generate a list with names of individuals you plan to buy for.
- Check it twice: Assign a spending limit for each person and stick to the amount you budget.
- Start early: The more time you give yourself to shop, the more bargain-conscious you can afford to be. There are great deals to be had before the shopping season officially begins.
- Double check for accuracy: Everyone makes mistakes, even the person ringing up your sale. And with long lines at the register, it’s even more likely. Check your receipt to make sure you were charged correctly.
- Save your receipts: After checking for accuracy, put your receipts somewhere you will be able to find them later. That way you can track your spending as you go, but also efficiently return items if need be.
- Carry a visual reminder of your homebuying goal with you when shopping.
- Use a layaway plan when available. It helps you stop from buying on impulse, without thinking. Layaway plans do not have finance charges like credit cards do.
- Use the money you have. Try to pay with cash, check or debit card instead of a credit card.
- Ask yourself hard questions. DO I really need to spend the money? Is buying your home more important than the material items you will be purchasing? (Need: something you/family has to have. Want: something you/family would like to have).
- Continue to save. Most important, continue to put money in the savings account for the purchase of the home. Do not stop saving during the holiday!