GREENSBORO, N.C. — The holiday season is a time of joy and a time to give.
From large purchases to small buys, it can be tough at the end of the year to afford gifts for those you love and check off everyone on your list.
Financial expert and owner of Debt Sucks University Ja’Net Adams gave ways and best practices to help prepare financially for the season.
Overspending. Adams said it’s best to keep in mind although the holidays are here, you’ll need to make sure your bills are paid.
She said to make sure shoppers are not neglecting or avoiding important bills such as mortgage payments and rent payments simply because it’s the holidays.
“Just understand that the first is coming, the first of the month is coming, and bills are going to have to be paid,” Adams said. “The light bill company…your mortgage…your apartment rent…nobody is going to care that you wanted to buy all those toys for your family members. They’re going to want their money, or they’re going to start cutting things off.”
Don’t Borrow Money to pay for your Christmas gifts
It can be tempting to borrow money and take out loans to help pay for gifts, but Adams said it isn’t the smartest option.
She recommends not taking out credit cards and personal loans to afford gifts for your family and friends at the holidays.
“Do not get credit cards. Do not get a personal loan to shop any time of the year,” she said. “Don’t borrow money to buy anything this season.”
Set savings goals that last year-round
Making a New Year’s Resolution to save more money through the year, or to save up for Christmas time? Don’t forget to see it through.
“A lot of times, we set resolutions in December. We’re really psyched about the new year coming when March comes around, we just forget about those saving goals. Let’s stick to it. Make sure you’re contributing to those saving goals year-round,” Adams said.
Open an Automatic Savings Account
Adams said one of the best ways shoppers can best prepare for the holidays is to not only start preparing months in advance by saving but being intentional through things like holiday savings accounts.
“Make it automatic if you can. Set you up a savings account and attach your automatic payments to that account before you even see it in your paycheck,” she said. “It’s already being transferred to that savings account, so you don’t even miss it. You start living your life according to the money that comes into your pocket.”
Cutting Back and Other Ways to Save
Financial expert Ja’Net Adams recommends keeping spare change from cash buys in a savings jar throughout the year and cutting back on streaming services to free up money for the holidays.
She said if you’re in financial straits to not feel guilty and pressured to give during the holiday season as well.
“This is the time of the year to look at, where am I falling short with the amount of money that I want to spend for the holidays, I’ll make sure that I won’t fall short like that next year,” she said.
How one Triad mom saves for the Holidays
Triad mom Crystal Moses said she and her husband Leon normally go all out at Christmas and buy a bunch of gifts for their children Wyatt Colin and Hunter but said this year she and him plan to scale back.
Crystal, owner of C. Moses Consulting puts aside money in advance before the holidays and recommends multiple tips to help save and prepare for the season.
Crystal’s Holiday Planning Tips
- Put aside funds all year long to prepare for the holidays and don’t start in the month of October
- Set aside a specific amount of funds each month
- Set a budget and stick to it
- Sift through emails and look in newspapers to comparison price shop
- Online shop for deals as compared to only shopping face-to-face/brick and mortar stores
Crystal’s Strategic Plans
“I have a budget. I know how much I’m going to spend this Christmas. I’m not spending over a $1,000 this Christmas. Normally there is no budget,” Crystal said. “This Christmas it’s a 1,000 limit.”
She said she’s only planning to buy necessities for children and family.
“I set aside money every month for the end of the year to make sure that we can afford to pay for Christmas gifts not only for our kids but for our family and friends,” Crystal said. “Saving is the best key to making sure your Christmas is a success. If you start planning at the beginning of the year and plan accordingly then Christmas is a success.”
She said her mother-in-law Iris Moses is a key factor and big help for her and her immediate family.
“She corrects me when I’m wrong. She’s also my best friend,” Crystal said. “I can talk to her about anything.”
She said being a mother and being able to provide her kids with a Merry Christmas is one of her greatest joys.
“Watching them open up the gift that I said I wasn’t going to get for them is the best part,” Crystal said. “Christmas isn’t just about getting gifts but loving on those nearest and dearest to you.”
MORE WAYS TO GET WFMY NEWS 2
Subscribe to our daily newsletter Let’s Get 2 It!
ADD THE WFMY+ APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for WFMY.
Amazon Fire TV: Search for WFMY to find the free app to add to your account. You can also add the app directly to your Fire TV through your Amazon account.