The saying goes: the holidays come but once a year. The rest of that saying should be along the lines of, “so don’t overspend or else you’ll be pinching pennies next year!”
It’s no wonder that stress is high during the holiday season. Between buying gifts, parties, dinners, concerts and other events taking control of one’s budgets and financial limitations should be considered. With a little pre-planning and yes, some willpower, we can all keep our holiday spending in check and our budgets in order. Below are some useful spending tips to consider during this busy holiday season.
Make a List and Check It Twice
The stores are decked out with holiday décor and music, and it’s easy to get swept away and overspend because you’re just so into it. Santa makes a list, and so should you. Whether it’s your holiday gift list for family and friends or a shopping list for Christmas dinner, having a realistic budget will help you stay on track and make purchasing decisions based on needs versus wants.
It’s easy to take advantage of budgeting and mobile banking apps that help you monitor your spending in real-time. This is a great way to identify areas where you may be overspending (those lattes while shopping can add up quickly!)
Paying for items on a debit or credit card, like Capital One’s Guaranteed Mastercard, ensures you’ll always have a record of your purchases. Unlike cash, your credit card provides a record of transactions made so you can see how much you spent and where.
We’re spending money during the holidays anyway and there is a way to ensure we’re getting the most bang for your buck too – rewards!
Using your credit card to make holiday purchases is a great way to take advantage of the rewards some credit cards offer. Capital One has a suite of credit cards designed to meet everyone’s needs. For example, the Capital One Aspire Travel Platinum Mastercard gives you one reward mile for every $1 spent on all purchases. The Guaranteed Mastercard can help you build credit while giving you access to benefits like 24/7 customer service, purchase assurance and extended warranty coverage, among others.
Stay On The Nice List
Ensure that you’re protecting your credit by taking advantage of fraud prevention features your credit card offers. Opting-in to two-way fraud alerts can help you identify unauthorized transactions in real-time which is especially important during the holiday season.
It can be as simple as an alert or text that prompt for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response to verify a transaction (I received an alert like this when I made a purchase from a website that was flagged. It made me double-check the transaction and it turns out the website wasn’t legit!) With a Capital One card, you also get Mastercard Zero Liability protection against unauthorized use of your card.
Make sure you’re staying on top of payments and deadlines, to keep your credit in check and stay on the nice list for 2020 too!
Here’s to busy store visits, beautiful decorations, holiday music, party planning, concerts, events and yes – that satisfying sip of coffee on Christmas morning!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Capital One Canada. All opinions and commentary are, as always, my own.
I am all for ‘lists’ to keep one organized and on top of things and to stay within the plan.
I like my to do lists and I also readjust them as I get closer to Christmas ( especially doing less baking than I planned ! )
A great post, and it’s so easy to get scammed nowadays, it’s good to have the extra protection
I paid for everything this month with cash – no credit card surprises next month.
You cannot just pick things up willy nilly – it will kill any budget you may have started
It’s so hard to keep on track without over spending!
Yes, keep a list and be careful about overspending.
so easy to get off track and over spend this time of year! i would spend so much on christmas decor wed be broke lol. gotta make a list of what your buy for who, shop the sales and keep your eyes on the prize
Good points here. I like the list idea and its one I use to make sure I get everything I need to buy and that I don’t go crazy on one person or forget another. That would be so awkward!
I’m a list maker and take one with me whenever I go shopping. I try very hard to stick to the list and not buy anything I don’t need.
Thank you for the tips! I agree it’s so easy to overspend during the holidays. You know all the little extra things add up. A few dollars here and there adds up quickly. Lists aren’t the only thing that needs checking twice; check your credit card and debit statements.
I agree lists are important.
use I love to use my reward card during the holidays and all year. I usually able to purchase a few gifts from redeeming points
I am a huge fan of lists!
It is so difficult to manage budgets but I try to update expenses daily to keep me on track.
Budgeting is so important to keeping your finances in check. I make a budget every holiday season and stick to it!
The wife and I have always had “cash Christmases” where we save money all year to spend at Christmas. It is way too easy for us to get carried away if we busted out the credit card at Christmas. The credit card is only used for online purchases and then paid off immediately with the cash that we had saved up
I love making a list of people I need to buy gifts for and then slowly checking them off…I get a lot purchased on Black Friday!
Budgeting can definitely be challenging this time of year – thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!
Me and my husband always make list to stay in track for holiday gift giving.
Thx very much for sharing these helpful tips on how to keep spending in check. It’s important not to overspend, getting into debt.
It’s always a great idea to have a plan ahead of time for what you plan to spend. Starting to save and set aside a little extra in the months before Christmas also takes some of the pressure off during December!
A list is vital, otherwise you’ll probably overspend. I too have Capital One and appreciate the payback that I get. Capital One is also the card for Costco, so it’s double payback once a year. Well worth having I’d say.
To do lists and a budget is the way to go.
Lists are important and also not to spend beyond your means.
I am a list person so I have everything very organized for a fun and controlled Christmas.
I’m definitely a list person! And I prefer paper over on my phone too! 😀
I always use my credit card too for the cash back!
Making a list…checking it twice!
Lists really help keep spending on track
I am definitely a list girl to keep track of everything. We always put money away during the year for the holidays, so no credit card spending needs to be done.
I’m all about the list and I seldom use a credit card. It’s just easier to pay when I purchase the gift. I really dislike the January credit card bills.
Thank you for the awesome tips I didnt know about the alert so important
I always keep an excel spreadsheet for my gift list. Keeps me on budget and also makes sure I don’t duplicate gifts from one year to the next! 😀
Those scams out there worry me. This is a perfect post to remind us about budgeting and getting the most out of our credit card spending.
I definitely find the holidays hectic. Making a list is something I always do 🙂
I’m all for making and revising my gift lists and keeping track of how much I’ve spent. I feel by using cash I won’t get any ugly surprises about how much I’ve spent.
I like that they send you a text if they detect fraud!
MasterCard has a lot of great perks
without lists I would totally get off track
This is so important to keep on budget is so important during the holiday season
I’ve never been a list maker but when it comes to Holiday spending I like to keep a list.
I keep lists, but i am so glad to.read posts like this for ideas and reminders
Great suggestions! It’s difficult to stay on budget this time of the year. Lists are great tools to keep on track with Holiday spending.
Great reminders for this busy time of year.
Making a list and sticking to the list helps me keep my budget for the Holidays.
I like the two-way fraud alerts. I’m not pro-active at checking my statements regularly but I know it’s a good habit I should be doing.
Lists are a great idea.. but it can be hard to stick too!
I stay within my budget…it’s suppose to be a wonderful time of year!
I always overspend. This years been a little different, due to my husband switching jobs in December and me working a job for the first time in 8 years. 😬 but we’ve made it work with budgeting and allotting so much for “when life happens” moments this month.
awesome post , my biggest mistake is going shopping without a list , going to really try and follow a list when shopping
I don’t like using cash since I sometimes forget what I have spent it on which is why I prefer debit or credit card. We usually make a list for what we will buy our sons and keep within our budgets
great tips, so easy to overspend this time of year!
I take advantage of bonus days, and free shipping. It makes a difference.
I love playing the rewards game with my credit card….we get our monthly bills to go directly onto our credit card just so we can get those extra points….the credit card is always paid off well in advance and love racking up the reward points for a freebee at a later date!
Good tips to prevent living beyond our means
Great tips for this busy season. I make lists and avoid spending too much on impulse around thhis time.
I like lists as they certainly do keep me on track, I am going to have to look into a two-way fraud alert on my cards!
Great reminders! As a non-teacher educator, I save my PC Optimum points for Christmas and Summer Holidays when our budget is pretty tight. Love it when people think carefully about their spending.
There’s limited shopping in my town, so I always keep an eagle eye out for potential presents when I’m in a biggish city during the year.
Makes sense to use a credit card to get the points, as long as there is a good plan to pay off the charge!
i love rewards and almost exclusively shop for/with them!!
Such great tips! I use a list for what I need to buy and what I need to do which helps a bit with the holiday stress
I agree it’s a very good idea to write a list and check it twice.
I would not survive without lists….
Great tips! I always like to create a list and set amounts to avoid overspending.
I am all in for using credit cards that offer rewards in return. I don’t have capital one but I do have discover and they offer great rewards and discounts
Keeping a list is so important. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy!
I think this year I’ve been particularly out of control for spending… I will definitely have to incorporate these tips to stop this from happening year after year!
Sticking to a plan is key!
I need to make lists too to stay organized.
I think using a budgeting app would be helpful for me. I can occasionally look track of my spending when I am buying a lot! The holidays are expensive, but it’s totally possible to stay on track!
I have learned to keep the gifts more on the practical side of things , I used to buy a lot of novelty items for the fam but have learned that they are more a waste of money then anything . Its saved me a bunch of money !!
I’ve used lists in the past and they do help esp of you have the sizes listed too.
People tend to get so caught up in the mindset of having to spend so much at Christmas. I made a list & have really stuck by it, using my will power to not throw all those extras into the cart. The big sales can really grab you but I keep focused on not wanting to be in debt come January.
For me, lists are essential! As well as a list of what to buy, I also have a list of when payments are due, so I don’t make any late payments.
Definitely make a list. That makes a huge difference in impulse spending.
Thanks so much for the valuable tips!
I’m a list lover also. This is the first year we have not splurged and have stayed in our lane financially
Lists are great and really help you stay organized. I buy gifts throughout the year so it is not such a shock to the budget in only a month or two.
Lots of great tips! Thanks
It is a really good point that the credit card helps you to keep on top of your spending. Sometimes I do cash and then it’s harder to track especially since I don’t want all the receipts.
Lists really help me to stay on track. I also love saving up my points for this time of year.
Early planning and lists are crucial, it’s easy to get overwhelmed at the last minute..
We try to keep track of Christmas purchasing and to pay off our credit card before the monthly statement/ as we use it. We like getting the points but not if it means paying extra interest because then you might as well skip the points!