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Happier Holidays: How to Avoid Financial Burnout This Winter

The spooky costumes are packed away for next Halloween, pumpkin flavored treats are beginning to dwindle from the shelves and you’re still recovering from the onslaught of candy. Unfortunately, the winter holiday season kicks off with a vengeance before you’ve even had time to finish that candy corn and switch gears!

But don’t stress – Payza has some advice on how you can save money and your sanity by going cashless this holiday season.

The Case of the Missing Cash

The holidays mean celebrating with friends and family. Getting ready for the festivities means shopping for groceries, decorations, presents and more. With so much to buy, keeping track of coins and bills can be an extra hassle, especially in today’s busy and increasingly mobile lifestyle. But even more than being a nuisance, using cash can actually cost you money unnecessarily in the days ahead.

The recent Visa Payment Attitudes Study has revealed that tracking our cash is a concern for most people, as it should be – people who use cash to pay for everything lose a shocking average of $365 USD every year. A penny here and a dollar there adds up fast – losing that amount every year could add up to a whopping $16,425 USD over 45 years! That money could make a significant impact on several years’ worth of holiday shopping, or go towards important financial goals like saving for retirement.

Using cash does not leave a paper trail, so it can be challenging to keep track of those payments. Using cash also poses a risk when it comes to theft – cash sent in the mail can be easily stolen, and a skilled pickpocket can quickly separate you from cash kept in your wallet, purse or pockets. Even worse, you cannot report unlawful transactions made with your cash and file a ‘chargeback’ the way you can if you pay with plastic. But is paying with a card instead really the answer?

Putting it off With Plastic

While the benefits of avoiding cash are clear, there are several valid concerns surrounding using credit cards as well. Using a credit card to pay for goods and services reveals personal information to vendors, and privacy is an ever-increasing concern.

Another problem many people have with credit cards, especially during the holiday season, is overspending. It’s very easy to spend more than what your budget allows for when you are using plastic instead of counting out your cash.  Did you know that 13.6 million Americans are still paying for last year’s holiday shopping? The ‘buy now, pay later’ attitude is easier than planning ahead and saving up for holiday purchases. Unfortunately, more often than not something inevitably comes up when ‘later’ arrives and it’s time to settle the credit card bill, and nothing ruins the holiday spirit quite like compounding interest on overextended credit!

E-wallets are the Answer

So how can you survive the holiday season with your sanity – and your finances – intact? Following money management tips such as setting a spending limit (and sticking to it!) and planning ahead for holiday purchases will help keep the costs of the holidays within reason. Using an online payment solution, like Payza’s e-wallet, is a fantastic way to manage your budget while protecting your personal details and maintaining your privacy. Use your e-wallet for purchases big and small and rest assured you are only spending what you actually have.