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Pre-Holiday Financial Clean Up

Meghan Hatalla

Benovates Expert Blogger

Get Organized and Clean Up Your Finances

The first week in October is National Get Organized week. So, what better time to get your financial situation in order, just in time for the holidays.

Yes, you heard that right, the holidays are approaching fast! Enjoying this time of year does not necessarily mean spending a small fortune, racking up debt, and spending the next two to three years trying to pay off the gifts (which 9 times out of 10 turns into holiday stress). Don’t make this time of year a financial mess, instead, start planning and organizing now to help prevent stress on you (and your money).

5 Ways to Get Financially Organized Before the Holiday Season:

1. Take Care Around Sales

October is one of the prime times for sales. With the winter season and Black Friday coming up, there will be sales left and right. If you’re still on the hunt for a good winter clothing bargain, now may be the time to buy… but be careful–not all deals are created equal. Be sure to comparison shop before you purchase an item during a sale. It might be easy to just grab the item and go when you’re in the store, but a little online research could save you a ton.

2.  Make a Budget

Holiday spending can easily get out of control- whether that’s for Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving food, or Christmas gifts, going over budget can severely affect your household finances. By making a budget before the start of the holiday season, you can plan exactly what you want to spend. A good budget trick is to give some cushion space, just in case you find or miss a sale. It’s never too early to start planning!

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3. Have a Check List for Bills/Costs

It’s easy to spend money when you have it, but that can lead to deficits for upcoming bills. Making a checklist of all of your bills with the expected cost next to it can help you organize your finances immensely. By keeping track of your bills this way, you can estimate how much you have left over for spending for holidays.

4. Download More Apps… Seriously!

If you struggle to keep track of your finances, a money management app like Mint is a great way to get your money in order right at your fingertips. With Mint, all of your transactions are recorded and categorized, then put into a visual representation to help understand your allocated funds. You can even create a budget, and Mint will alert when you’re near the cap or over.

On the other hand, apps like Cartwheel and Shopkick can save you a lot if you make a plan and use them regularly. Cartwheel offers discounts on products at Target that aren’t always available to the naked eye, and for Shopkick? All you need to do is walk in the store. Simple as that; walk in, walk out, earn points, and redeem a promo code or gift card. There are many other apps to save you money, so do some research and find what you think you’ll use the most.

5. Save of Gift Cards

Buying discount gift cards for a holiday gift can save you loads of money, and the best part? No one will know you got it on sale. If you think a gift card is too impersonal, you could always use it yourself to buy a gift at a discount. Your budget will thank you when you see how much you’ve saved on something you needed to purchase anyway. Check out sites like CardPool.com and GiftCardGranny.com to save on some gift cards!

Get Organizing!

Your finances don’t have to be stressful, especially during the happiest time of the year. With a little organization and these tips from Benovate, you can budget and save more money just in time for the holiday season.

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