Disclaimer: This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.
Money Saving Tips for the Holiday Season
I was sitting on the couch trying to figure out what paper went to what kid when I received a startling phone call from my husband. He was in between planes and he wanted to know what we spend a year. I, of course, answered with “money.” He told me to get serious because we have some big expenses coming up and we need to figure out how we plan to pay for them.
I was a little startled because we are debt free. We do not spend a lot of money, and we try our best to live below our means at $40,000 or less a year, but I thought he called because of a large unexpected expense. In reality he was planning for the cost of our child’s braces, which were $5200. That one hurt but we had a dental account for this very reason.
I spent the next 4 hours combing through my Suntrust checking account, his checking account, and our joint account. Then I called the power company to make sure I had my numbers in order because my account management leaves a lot to be desired. I put everything I had into the Suntrust Budgeting worksheet. The SunTrust budget worksheet from onUp.com is free and easy to use.
Then I called my husband to confess my sins. I asked him why he needed our budget right now. He told me that he always worries about having enough to provide for our family. It is what he does before bed and what he thinks about when he wakes up in the morning. He believes that having our expenses and savings goals in one place will alleviate his concerns and he could sleep better. So I asked him if I could put in a line for miscellaneous spending you know so I didn’t have to call it a budget line for things like cupcakes, dresses, and shoes.
With this in mind, I started to think about my holiday budget and starting my holiday shopping now. I have so many people to buy for and I need to spread the expenses over several months. In past holidays, this method has helped me afford to buy people such wonderful gifts at discounted prices.
An easy budgeting tool will help me remember whom I bought what for instead of trying to guess when I take out the gifts from my secret hiding space (a suitcase in the closet). I wondered if SunTrust had a tool to help me plan my holiday spendings like the tool that helped me plan my long-term and short-term savings saving goals. It turns out they do and it has everything you need to track, plan, and work on a savings plan of your own.
This is how you access the FREE Holiday Budget Tool
Then you wait for it to upload.
Once it has upload go to Save As and save it as something you will remember. That way you can access it at any time. I call mine Santa’s Secret Weapon.
The number one question people ask us is how did we become debt free. The answer is simple. You only buy what you need at a price you can afford, and a budget is necessary to achieve this. I became lax with writing down our spending because we were only buying the necessities but my husband is a numbers guy and he wanted to make sure we were only buying what we needed investing what we should into our future and planning for expenses that we know we have. I put a certain portion of our income into a holiday account for birthdays and Christmas and Hanukkah.
I used to hate looking at a budget and living by one but now I think of it like being dropped off in a new place and someone giving you a map. It allows me to see where we are and what we need to do to get where we want. I find that knowledge brings power and peace.
Just for fun let me know what was the best gift you ever saved for and how did you do it?
This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.