Dr. Bob Castaneda, program director for the BS and MS in Accounting and MS in Finance programs, shares advice on how to shop smart while sticking to your budget this holiday season.

Budgeting Tips for the Holidays

While the holidays are known as the most wonderful time of the year, holiday expenses can be a real grinch. From finding the best presents to booking a family getaway, many shoppers will overspend this holiday season.

A recent survey from CreditCards.com revealed that 42% of all U.S. adults are willing to take on debt for holiday spending, as well as 61% of people who already have a card balance. With sales already in full swing, Dr. Bob Castaneda, program director for Walden University’s BS and MS in Accounting and MS in Finance programs, recommends financial strategies that can help relieve the pressures of overspending during the holidays.

“With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, millions of Americans will overspend on their holiday shopping for family and friends,” says Dr. Castaneda. “Being proactive with financial strategies can help alleviate some of that stress.”

Dr. Bob Castaneda
Dr. Bob Castaneda

Dr. Castaneda offers the following tips on how holiday shoppers can stick to their budget while searching for the best deals.

  • Target your spending. Establishing your holiday budget early in the year is key to controlling your spending during the holiday season. In addition to presents, your budget should also include holiday meals, decorations and travel expenses. This strategy ensures that you only spend what you have, while allowing you to take advantage of holiday sales as they arise.
  • Buy before the holiday season. Instead of waiting until the holiday season, utilize discounts throughout the year. Most publicly traded retailers will have sales events right before their quarter end in March, June and September, with discounts as high as 30 to 40%.
  • Utilize layaways. For those shopping at major retailers, this payment option is a great way to secure large purchases. After making a down payment, retailers will reserve your layaway items until you pay off the purchase.
  • Use 0% APR credit cards. If you need a credit card to make a holiday purchase that can’t be passed up, use a credit card with 0% interest. Many credit cards offer 0% interest rates for an introductory period, typically for the first 30 days, 60 days or 12 months. Just be sure to pay off the credit card balance before the interest rate kicks in and make payments on time.
  • Negotiate gifting. It’s common for larger families to agree on only buying gifts for the children. To alleviate the financial pressure of buying a gift for everyone, consider a gift exchange – like a Secret Santa – with your close friends or family.
  • Shop after Christmas. One of the best times to buy Christmas wrapping paper, home decorations and other items is right after the holidays, saving you money for next season. Shoppers should take advantage of post-holiday discounts, especially when buying gifts for subsequent holidays or upcoming birthdays.

Without a financial plan, holiday spending pressures can lead to buyer’s remorse. To ensure you’re not still paying off this year’s holiday expenses in 2020, set realistic goals for your holiday budget, maximize discounts throughout the year and find creative, feasible ways to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones.

Man sitting at latop
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Required
Required
Contact Information
Required
Required
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Required
Please provide a valid zipcode
Required
Additional Information
Required
Get Started

By submitting this form, I understand and agree that Walden University may contact me via email, text, telephone, and prerecorded message regarding furthering my education and that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Required

By checking this box, I agree that Walden University may contact me by email, text message, autodialed telephone call, and prerecorded message at the contact information provided above regarding opportunities and offers to further my education. I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time and that my consent is not a condition of any purchase. I have received the Walden University Privacy Policy