Nov 18, 2021

How to crush your holiday budget

The holiday season is here! Before you start using your Greenlight card, there’s no better time to tackle budgets and Savings Goals. Here’s how to make sure you have enough to cover everyone on your gift list — and extra for charitable giving.

Bring on the budget

Setting a budget for the holidays will help you enjoy the holiday cheer without overspending. Holiday debt averaged $1,381 in 2020 (Yikes!). That’s why you should learn how to create a budget — and stick to it. Your future self will thank you for it. 

Hint: Start by calculating how much everything will cost and how much you’ll need to save. Oh, and don’t forget about tax and shipping expenses!

Make a list (check it twice)

A gift list is a great way to stay on budget when holiday shopping. Make a list of who you want to buy presents for and what you plan to get them. You can even research the price of each item before you shop. 

A list will keep you focused, both in-store or online. And if you’re shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, staying focused is the way to go (more on this later).

Set holiday Savings Goals

In your Greenlight app, set a Savings Goal specifically for the holidays. Name it something like “Holiday Fund” or “Gift Goals.” Here’s how to set up a Savings Goal: 

  1. Navigate to your “Savings” tab.

  2. Tap “Add a Savings Goal.”

  3. Enter a title or description of what you will be saving for.

  4. Enter a goal amount.

  5. Tap “Save” to complete the set-up process.

You’ll need your parent’s approval to spend your savings. Make sure they’re on the lookout for your request when it’s time to cross holiday shopping off your to-do list.

Some to spend. Some to give.

After you’ve saved up to reach your holiday Savings Goal, it’s time to practice smart spending, bargain shopping and thoughtful giving. Here are a few days to keep in mind: 

  • Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving is considered one of the busiest holiday shopping days of the year, known for big sales and discounts. Pro tip: Shop with specific items in mind — and avoid impulse purchases at all costs. It’s also never too early to start researching Black Friday deals.

  • Small Business Saturday or Shop Small Saturday: The Saturday after Thanksgiving is all about small businesses. Support locally owned businesses and small, unique stores in your neighborhood.

  • Cyber Monday: The Monday after Thanksgiving is the day to shop some of the best deals of the season online — with your parent’s permission. Lifehack: These online sales often begin on Black Friday and run through Cyber Monday.

  • Giving Tuesday: The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is known as Giving Tuesday, a day you can make a difference. At Greenlight, we recognize that even the smallest donation can make a big difference. To reward your generosity, every charitable donation using your Greenlight card from Nov. 22 through Nov. 30 = one entry into our Giving Sweepstakes (now through Giving Tuesday).

Trust us, you’ll feel good about your spending habits when you balance holiday gift shopping with the gift of giving back.

It's the thought that counts (really!)

Gift-giving is a major focus during the holiday season, but not all gifts have to come from a store. When you make your holiday gift list, remember: small, thoughtful gifts are priceless.

Cookies, DIY ornaments, crafts, handwritten cards and random acts of kindness can go a long way. And nothing beats the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from giving a thoughtful gift.

Get ahead for the holidays with Greenlight

Now it’s your turn to put it into action — with Greenlight by your side. Practice wise saving, smart spending and thoughtful giving this holiday season, starting with a holiday Savings Goal.

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