It’s funny how Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time for gratitude for the things we already have, while also being the kick-off to the biggest spending season of the year.
From feeding guests to Black Friday shopping, this upcoming Thanksgiving season may have you worried you wouldn’t have enough cash to purchase everything you need. Thankfully, we have tips for saving money and curbing unnecessary spending as the holidays approach.
There’s something about seeing green dollar bills leave your wallet that can make you think twice about spending. You’ve probably heard of cash-only budgeting methods, where you set up guardrails for yourself by only spending with cash. However, cash isn’t always convenient, especially if you make online purchases or use a credit card instead.
The Payactiv Visa® Card* feels like using cash because it only allows you to spend the pre-loaded amount on your account. So when you set up paycheck Direct Deposit to your Payactiv account, you’ll always have your paycheck available (not more!) to spend. Using a prepaid debit card is a great way to avoid a “holiday debt hangover” come January.
Tip: 🎁 Get $100 after your 3rd successful Direct Deposit to the Payactiv Visa Card! 🎁
Write down everything you need to purchase for Thanksgiving celebrations. Are you going to a family or friend’s house for the holiday? Then you may need to buy a hostess gift or prepare a dish for the meal. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner yourself, determine what you’ll need to serve food, decorate, and set the table before entering a single store.
Writing a list of necessities is the first step in creating a budget, which can go a long way in helping you understand where your money goes this season. Plus, the more specific you can be in your planning, the more you’ll be able to save.
Once you’ve determined what to purchase this season, set a realistic budget that accommodates your spending goals. Remember, recent inflation has significantly increased the prices of goods, especially food, so the cost of the items you purchased last year will likely be higher this year.
That said, ask yourself what you need to spend, and cut out the unnecessary fluff. Prioritize your needs over your wants. It can be challenging, but it’s a necessary aspect of budgeting.
As you purchase items, track where every penny goes. Recording your expenses throughout the season is a great way to pace yourself, preventing overspending or impulse buying.
When you link a bank account or a debit card to the Payactiv App, you’ll unlock access to Payactiv’s free budgeting tool. SmartSpend watches where your money goes and sorts your spending into categories. Plus, it’s easier than recording and tallying up your spending by hand.
If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, don’t be shy about asking guests to bring something to share. It’s expensive and challenging to cook for a crowd, and guests might enjoy the potluck-style opportunity to share dishes they helped make. You could even add a taste-testing competition to make this cost-saving strategy more fun for all.
If food preparation is covered, ask guests to bring flowers, extra whipped cream, or even contribute to a small fund to help offset the costs you’ll likely take on as host. Gracious guests will likely want to bring something; be sure they know what kinds of contributions you would find most helpful!
You already know it’s a good idea to take advantage of sales and purchase store-brand items instead of name-brand for extra savings. But did you know that many of your favorite retailers offer price matching to compete for your hard-earned dollars?
So either before or during your shopping trip, check online to compare prices and see if you have something on your list that has a better price elsewhere. If you show it to a cashier at checkout, they may match the lower price, saving you a few dollars. Many stores also offer discounts and coupons on their apps that you can save for later. While these extra steps can take extra time, the dollars saved by the end of the season will be well worth it. When in doubt, do a quick Google search to find which stores match prices near you.
You might set the alarms to wake up early on Black Friday morning, even before Thanksgiving dessert is served, but think twice about engaging in retail holidays (or pre-holiday sales). Catching time-sensitive bargains during a hectic time of year can make us more eager to jump on the first option before price comparing, and retailers know it. This hastiness is not the way to save wisely in the long term. Although some stores run quality sales on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, marketing gimmicks like these are often designed to sell you things that aren’t on your list.
When shopping for your Thanksgiving and seasonal gifts, you’ll want to stick to a clearly defined list and budget. These will help guide you while you spend, so your holiday spending doesn’t snowball. Communicate with your guests to share costs, pay with cash, look for the best price, and be cautious of tempting Black Friday sales. At Payactiv, we care about you and your financial well-being. The Payactiv Digital Wallet can help you track every dollar and achieve your financial goals.
Now that’s something to be thankful for this season.
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