This article, written by Catherine New, originally appeared on Betterment.
Did you just make all your holiday purchases after Thanksgiving? Or do you plan to hand out cash come end of year? Everyone has his or her own strategy for navigating the holiday spending crunch. Betterment Founder and CEO Jon Stein recently appeared on Bloomberg Television to talk about his strategies for holiday budgeting. His tip?
"Make a plan and figure out what you will get for each person before you go to the store. That way you don't spend money on whatever shiny object catches your eye."
We surveyed the office for more tips.
Chelsea Nenni, Team and Office Associate
Tip: I try to buy gifts early enough so I don't end up 'panic buying/guilt buying' things at the last minute. I also cut back on spending on myself so that I can spend more on others.
Splurge: No splurges yet, but I might take a little trip soon!
Sarah Kaufman, Growth Manager
Tip: I have a separate savings account where I stash money throughout the year, solely for things that I know I'll forget to budget for, such as holiday gifts or travel. For gifts, I leverage any 'friends and family' discounts I can find, and I always search for promo codes online.
Splurge: A new couch.
Joe Jansen, Data Visual Artist
Tip: I set aside money all year into a gift and travel account that can be used for holiday travel and gifts. That way, it doesn't actually feel like a major spend.
Splurge: Amazon Echo.
Catherine New, Content Manager
Tip: My family is more focused on experiences rather than gifts, so I tend to spend my money on speciality foods or restaurants that everyone can share. I also like to give gift cards for spa treatments.
Splurge: My mom is retiring this year, so I am taking her on vacation as my treat.
Mike Kane, VP of Product Growth
Tip: I set an upper bound that I'm willing to spend. I also try to buy gifts for my family throughout the year, whenever I see something that I think would be really appropriate for someone.
Splurge:Plane tickets to visit family in Argentina.
Elizabeth Derby, Product Marketing Associate
Tip: I like to make gifts. I've done cross-stitch, knit scarves, made chocolate sauce, and framed photos. People appreciate a personalized gift!
Splurge: Plane tickets to Minnesota to visit my family.
Dustin Lucien, Chief Technology Officer
Tip: If you have a lot of people to buy for in your family, suggest that at least the adults hold a secret santa, white elephant, or other one-to-one gift exchange that limits the number of gifts you're buying. Let's face it--if we really wanted that sweater from Aunt Sally, we'd buy it for ourselves.
Splurge: Nothing yet. (And here's to hoping we make it through the holidays without one!)
The views and opinions of the above individuals are strictly their own and do not necessarily represent those of Betterment.
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