This is a tough time to keep on top of things moneywise. The stores are in full Christmas swing, and it’s tempting to spend that little bit more, on pretty much everything. Interac has some tips to help you stay in the best financial health.
Make meal plans
’Tis the season of special cheese plates and themed appetizers. Make a meal plan each week, and the grocery list from your meal plan. There’s nothing wrong with trying out a new thing or two, but it’s much easier to stick to your grocery budget when you’re not wandering the aisles. It also cuts down on buying things you already have, which I have been known to do!
Make a Christmas plan
Sit down and list out the people you need to buy gifts for, and set a budget. Don’t forget to include things that like to sneak in under the radar, like hostess gifts and school parties. This saves you from last minute gift buying frenzies. My secret is to make up a few homemade gifts to have on hand when you’re suddenly faced with a gift exchange situation you didn’t predict – brownie ingredients layered in a mason jar with a recipe tied to the top with a bow is pretty, and costs next to nothing. It also saves you from buying a $30 bottle of wine because you need a gift NOW.
Don’t do the mental budget math
Oh yes, the old, I didn’t have a coffee yesterday or maybe the day before, and then if I get that coupon online I could definitely afford that very nice pair of gloves. I do it all the time. Take a minute, check your balances, and pay with Interac, and then you know where you are. For sure.
Wait a day
I am fully guilty of the impulse buy. When I saw this tip, I thought it was brilliant. If you’re tempted by something that falls outside your budget, don’t say no, just take a photo of it, and think about it. If you’re still keen on it the next day, find a way to work it into your budget and you’re golden. I have to say, often I don’t feel so excited about something the next day, especially when it will directly impact my coffee budget.
This post is sponsored by Interac. Interac is Canada’s leading payment brand that operates an economical, world-class debit system with broad-based acceptance, 24/7 reliability, security and efficiency. The brand is chosen an average of 12 million times daily to pay and exchange money. Interac products and services securely connect people to their money at the ABM through InteracCash, at retailers across Canada through Interac Debit and the US, and online through web based services – Interac Online for online purchases, and Interac e-Transfer for person-to-person payments.
Image credits: Shop West Broadway
Erin McGann is the former Managing Editor for Vancouver Mom and Toronto Mom Now. She drinks just a bit too much coffee, is a bit obsessed about sourcing local food, plays the cello moderately well, spends too much time on Twitter, keeps honeybees on a rooftop, and has a thing for single-malt whisky. Erin is working on a novel set in turn-of-the-century Vancouver, which her husband, son and dog have to hear about all the time, and also blogs at Erin at Large.