Old National Bank has tips on building Holiday Budgets

When building a holiday budget, it is most important to begin by defining your family’s values and traditions and allowing those to guide your activities. Old National Bank has tips to help.

Holiday Spending Tips:
– Be an educated consumer: Pay attention to sales ads, spend time doing comparisons before going online or to the store. Utilize spending and coupon apps, such as Retail Me Not, Targets Cartwheel, Flipp, Wish, also look for coupons from your favorite store.

– Create a spending plan: After reviewing sales, and coupons develop a spending plan. This will give a realistic amount of how much you can actually afford to spend, with a set dollar amount for each item. Keep in mind large family meals, work pitch-ins and gift exchange activities. Don’t plan your budget based on the thought that that your worth is measured by how much you spend!

– Beware of sales pitches, and “good” deals: Avoid shopping under the holiday hype pressure. Be mindful that it may not be as good of a deal as it appears. Protect your credit, and don’t apply for new credit cards to save 15% at the register, avoid “buy now pay later” offers. These will only entice you to spend outside of your budget and ultimately money you don’t have.

– Shop early and with a list: According to experts the best timeframe to get the best deals is October 1st- December 1st. Avoid last minute all out shopping sprees, remember to prepare by completing a detailed list and remember to take your time.

– Use Credit Wisely: If you choose to take advantage of rewards or cash back incentives on your credit cards, still treat it as cash. Keep in mind your set spending limits and hold tight to them regardless of your actual available credit limit. Rule of thumb, if you cannot pay it off completely during January’s billing statement, then don’t spend it in December.

– Use Layaway: A once very popular tool to help purchase holiday items. Layaway can help you beat the holiday rush and avoid stock-outs on high demand items. You can also spread the total amount over several weeks to help with your budget. However, you must still do the math, and consider the pros and cons depending on the store that is offering this service.

– Cash: Consider using the envelope method based on your spending list. Stay disciplined and once those funds are depleted, resist taking it from another budget line item to continue shopping.