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7 steps to prepare for holiday spending and set yourself up for success in 2022


Individuals 10.12.2021 2 MIN

We all enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones during the holiday season—but it can also be a stressful time financially. Here are some tips to help you manage holiday spending and get a jumpstart on your finances for next year. 

Prepare for holiday expenses

Consider cutting back to build up some extra cash.

  • Cook at home more often
  • When grocery shopping, make a list and use coupons
  • Look for online deals when you shop and consider DIY gifts
  • Consider a gift of your time. Can you babysit, dog walk, do yardwork, give a massage or haircut? Sometimes the gift of your time is the most meaningful—and may help stretch your budget. Get creative!
  • Have a credit card with cash rewards? Consider saving them each month to put toward next year’s holiday spending. A little each month often adds up! 

 

Make a list and stick to it.

  • Plan out who you want to give gifts to
  • Set a price limit for each person

 

Keep track of your spending this year.

  • Plan to set aside that much money next year
  • After the holidays are over, set up a savings account earmarked for holiday expenses and consider direct depositing a portion of each paycheck into that account throughout the year

 

Every person’s situation is unique. If your company offers Ayco as a benefit, Ayco financial coaches can review your situation and help you develop a plan.

 

Set yourself up for financial success in the new year

Use these tips to get started on some popular financial goals.


Take control of your debt

  • Make a list of all your loans, debts etc., and rank them from highest to lowest interest rates. If you can, put extra money (on top of your regular monthly payments) toward paying down the highest interest loan each month. It could save you thousands in the long run
  • Consider refinancing your higher interest rate loans if lower rates are available


Create and stick to a budget

  • List your sources of income and your regular expenses to give yourself an idea of what your current cash flow looks like
  • Look at your highest expenses, after necessary costs like mortgage/rent, bills, etc. Is there anything that surprises you? Consider reducing those expenses if possible
  • Reward yourself—within reason—for staying on or under budget. Celebrating small wins can make it easier to keep up your momentum


Prepare for unexpected expenses

  • Set up an emergency fund. This fund should be set aside for expenses like unexpected home repairs or medical costs. Read our guide to emergency funds for more information 
  • Consider setting up automatic deposits into your emergency fund to ensure you meet your savings goal. The ideal emergency fund holds three to six months’ worth of your expenses, but that can vary based on your needs and preferences


Solidify your retirement plan

  • Think about how you want to live in retirement. Do you plan on traveling? Moving or paying off your home? Caring for children or grandchildren? Create a plan that captures all your goals
  • No matter how near or far you are from retirement, our Retirement planning for all ages guide has the steps you can take now

 

If you have access to Ayco through your employer, a coach can help you plan and make progress toward these goals and any other financial priorities you may have. They’re trained on your company benefits and can help you incorporate them into your overall financial plan.

If you have Ayco as a company benefit, register or log in to learn more about this and other financial wellness topics.