Best holiday budgeting ideas

Rein in holiday spending this year ?

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but that doesn’t mean you should live beyond your means. Before your spending gets out of control, put a plan in place, so you don’t wake up with a financial hangover after the holidays. Try these simple budgeting tips to rein in your holiday spending this year:

Plan out your holiday budget in advance

It’s easy to get wrapped up in holiday spending (pun intended), so planning your budget in advance is essential to surviving the season without going broke. Start planning early, write down your budget, and stick to it. Remember to include all the little extras that come with the holidays, like extra gas for travel, holiday cards, and postage.

Once your budget is complete, look for areas where you can cut costs. For example, using The Funnies to wrap gifts is a cheap and simple alternative to wrapping paper, or carpooling with family to holiday parties can help avoid high gas prices.

Make an official “naughty or nice” list ?

In addition to your budget, you should also make a list of every person you plan on purchasing a gift for (from your children to your hairdresser) along with the amount you plan on spending. Consider this amount a ceiling and not a quota; that way, you focus more on the emotional value of a gift and not the price tag.

Don’t bust your budget purchasing extravagant presents. Giving a personalized gift, like a framed photo of a special memory you shared or a handmade ornament, instead of something expensive can mean so much more to your loved ones. Also, if you know how to bake, you could make a few of your favorite holiday desserts and package them into goodie bags to give out to more distant friends and relatives.

Shop early and save big

It’s no secret that the earlier you start shopping for holiday gifts, the better the deals you come across. So start scouring those retailers early. Afraid you’ll miss out on a deal waiting for payday? Members of MoneyLion have access to 0% APR Instacash℠ cash advances up to $250 to top off their accounts, so they’ll never miss out on a holiday deal because they’re short on funds.* To qualify, you just need a MoneyLion Zero-Fee Checking℠ account with a recurring direct deposit of $250 or more. Consider it Santa’s little helper this holiday season. Open the MoneyLion app to establish your MoneyLion Checking account in a few simple steps.

Come up with alternative holiday party ideas ?

Throwing a holiday party can get expensive, so why not try something different this year? You could organize a group of your friends and family to volunteer at a local homeless shelter or VA hospital. Helping those less fortunate can be good for your heart and your wallet!

You could also get a group together to host a cookie swap. Just invite a group of friends over, and have each person make enough of one kind of cookie to share. Each person should bring around four dozen cookies. At the party, trade and package them in appealing tins. Everyone will leave with finished gifts — and plenty of new recipes.

Save money without feeling like a Grinch

The holidays are about spending time with the ones you love, not overspending on extravagant gifts. Use these budgeting tips to save money without feeling like a Grinch this year.

*MoneyLion Checking Account and Direct Deposit required.

MoneyLion Banking account provided by partner bank, Member FDIC. Cash Advance requires MoneyLion Bank Account and Direct Deposit. See Banking and Cash Advance FAQs for more information.