Budgeting for the Holidays

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

Here are some tips to setting and keeping on a budget this Holiday Season!

Set A Budget  – When you plan for your business, you plan out a budget and execute based on the budget; it’s the same principle with Holiday Shopping. Before you shop set a realistic budget, then track your spending. (See Mobile Budget Tracking below for a list of mobile apps we found with a simple search on iPhone’s App Store!

Use Credit Instead Of Debit – Use credit cards to shop unless of course you have major Credit Card debt. Using a Credit Card gives you the backing of that card and they can be your intermediaries if you run into issues and cannot resolve them with the merchant directly. This also protects your bank account from Holiday thieves who may want to relieve you of your cash.

Stay Secure Online – When shopping online, make sure the site URL starts with https:// – the “S” means the site is secure and your information should be protected. You can also use a pre-paid credit card when shopping online – this is added protection so if the number is stolen, the thief can’t rack up a huge bill – only what’s on the charge. Not a bad idea for in-store shopping too!

Check It Out  – While we LOVE buying online, be sure you take a look at what you are buying in person, in a store, before you commit online. As in your business, you make sure what you are purchasing is the quality and specs you require; it’s the same when shopping for the Holidays. What if the size is way too big, the quality isn’t what you anticipated? Unless you know for sure, check it out before you buy online.

Save When You Can! – FREE SHIPPING DAY IS 12/18! So if you DO shop online, and have to ship across the country, you’ll save a bundle if you wait. Wherever you shop, do a simple search for discount coupons. Use the codes online and print and take to the store with you if you are shopping in the store (some stores will not take mobile coupons – so check before you leave the house!).

Mobile Budget Tracking:

There are many apps out there, some do a countdown to Christmas, others can be used for other events. Some allow you add a store, a picture, interface with your email list, graphically show where you are in relation to your budget and shopping, and some are protected by passcodes– it all depends on what’s right for you.  If you want to see all that is available look under the category “productivity” for the best results – and happy shopping!

The Christmas Gift List Free – Holiday Shopping List

By Denys Yevenko

Santa’s Bag – Christmas Gift List

By Clay Pot Software

The Gift Planner

By Andrew Milham

This is also for Birthdays, so not necessarily seasonal. It is also supported on iPad and iPad Pro!

Gift List

By Gennubi

** 2011: Featured on “10 Holiday Shopping Apps That Will Save You Money” (cnbc.com)
** 2010: #2 on “High 5: Holiday Shopping Apps” (abcnews.com)

Christmas Budget

By Asif Khalyani
However you shop, however you choose to track your budgets, remember to handle the Holiday finances the same as you would for your business. You will be happy you did when the bills start to come in!