Beyond the Wallet EP 9: Holiday Spending Habits

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$998 is how much the average consumer expects to spend during this 2021 winter holiday season (Source: The National Retail Federation). That’s a lot of money! How many other months do you tack on almost $1,000 bucks to your average spending? In this video, I’m going to share with you 3 tips to help you best control your holiday spending habits.

Hey MoneyLion, my name’s Austin Hankwitz and I talk about personal finance and investing online. And just like you, sometimes I go overboard with my winter holiday spending.

Money Life Lesson: But, by using tools to track down coupons, making our own naughty or nice list, and setting spending limits – we’ll make our money go just a little bit further this holiday season.

The Daily Deposit:

Tip number one: get into couponing. Keep in mind, there are tools out there that automatically find you deals and coupon codes to help you save. If you’re shopping online, look into apps like Dosh, Ibotta, or Honey, or head to Even if you missed out on Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, many brands run promotions to the end of the holidays, and those tools can help track you down coupon codes you might otherwise miss. What’s better, those tools can help you turn holiday couponing into a new year’s resolution to save while shopping all through 2022.

This brings us to tip number two: if you have a shopping list, check it twice. Santa has to buy presents for the whole world – that doesn’t mean you do. If your shopping list includes more than 5 people outside of your immediate family, consider how you can show the other people in your life appreciation with a gesture that’s more cost-effective. You could bake cookies, make something crafty, maybe put together a slideshow of photos and pair it with a tasteful letter. It’s the Season of Giving and I’m not trying to sound like the Grinch – but there are ways to celebrate the people beyond your inner circle that won’t break your budget.

Speaking of budgets, tip #3 is to set realistic spending limits for yourself. The easiest way to do this is to carefully analyze your budget and then figure out exactly how much can safely come out of your bank account – without having to rack up debt on those high-interest credit cards.

If you want to spend a little more, that doesn’t have to be coming from “leftover” money at the end of the month – instead, it can come from your “dining out” money or your “new clothes” money allocated for the next month or two. As long as you’re using cash without dipping into rent money, you’re doing great.

Remember, $998 is a lot of money and holiday spending can rack up quickly. Seek out couponing tools, search for lower-cost gestures for people outside your inner circle, and look at your budget before you shop. That can help keep both the holidays and your wallet, happy.

A brief heads up this is a sponsored video. MoneyLion and I have partnered with the goal of making important financial lessons easier to understand. See you on the next Beyond the Wallet.

Video Summary

The average consumer expected to spend $998 during the 2021 holiday season. Some people stress out about the extra expenses that stem from the holidays. The additional spending can push them into debt and lead to impulsive financial decisions. 

Many people spend extra during the holiday season to provide loved ones with gifts. But you can still give presents to your family and friends without stressing yourself out both mentally and financially. These holiday spending habits can help you care for your loved ones in an affordable manner. 

#1: Get into couponing

Coupon codes shave off a few dollars from your purchases. Each coupon adds up, and it’s easier than ever to access them. Online tools such as Dosh, Ibotta, and Honey scour the web for active coupons. You can also use the site when all else fails.

Companies offer deals and discounts well after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can capitalize on these deals to save money buying gifts you would have bought anyway. Installing coupon add-ons to your browser experience only takes a few minutes. These savings extend beyond the holiday season. You can continue finding online coupons long after the holidays have concluded.

#2: Check your shopping list twice

Santa checks his list twice to make sure he didn’t make mistakes. Checking your shopping list twice can help you save money and provide loved ones with the right gifts. Some people overspend during the holidays and give gifts to people out of their immediate family.

If you have gifts on the list for more than five people out of your immediate family, trim the list. You can show these people appreciation in other ways, such as a handwritten note or a photo compilation. These gifts show them that you care without breaking the bank.

#3: Set a realistic budget for yourself

Budgets help you stay in control of your holiday spending. Budgets reveal your spending range and help you spend safely. Spending without a limit can result in significant debt after the holiday season.

If you want to spend more than usual, look for other ways to cut costs. You can use the money you’d spend on clothing, dining out, and other areas to fund holiday shopping. Taking a month or two or three away from these activities will improve your financial flexibility during the holidays.

Stay in control while spreading joy

These holiday spending habits help you provide gifts for loved ones while practicing prudent money management. You’ll keep the holiday spirit and preserve your wallet in the process.

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