Use These Tips to Put an End to Overspending Through the Holidays
There’s a good chance that you’ve started looking at the calendar a little differently lately. You’re feeling a sense of urgency to prepare for the holidays.
Maybe it’s your turn to host the holiday gathering this year? Perhaps you have travel plans that you still need to finalize. It could be sinking in that you haven’t started planning your gift buying yet and are worried about overspending?
The point is before we know it we’ll be sipping eggnog and reveling in holiday cheer with our family and friends.
We all want the season of Christmas to be a time to celebrate. Embracing a spirit of generosity and giving gifts to family and friends is often our way of expressing love and appreciation. It provides a heartwarming experience for all.
However, Christmas spending often is done without first setting a budget. This can lead to credit card and other debt that impacts your finances for months after the season is over.
Now is the time to review our holiday plans and budget for them accordingly. If we wait, the risk of overspending grows tremendously and we’d rather enjoy the holiday spirit than have it dampened by lingering debt!
Following these basic rules can help your finances survive the holidays:
Top 10 Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Overspending:
Do give gifts that people need. Avoid adding in extras that are meaningless and unnecessary.
Do buy gift certificates instead of mailing gifts. Shipping adds up even when online shopping!
Do draw names for a gift exchange. Everyone still receives gifts, but no one shoulders a burden they can’t afford.
Do begin saving and shopping early. If you’re feeling pinched this year and have to make concessions on your spending to avoid utilizing credit cards make a note to start earlier in the year. First, if you shop earlier in the year (while still sticking to a gift list budget) you have more time to find deals and shop around without the last minute hassle. Second, if you save earlier you will be able to avoid being tempted to purchase gifts on credit. Though I still recommend you stick to a strict budget to avoid possibly overspending. You can even buy gifts year round!
Do comparison shop. Now that we have phone data, finding a competitor’s price is just a few clicks away. Be sure if you are driving from store to store to compare prices, the amount of gas you are using if worth the difference in price.
Do open a savings account just for the holidays. You may also consider certificates of deposit.
Do make a gift or provide a service. This heartwarming no matter who the recipient is.
Do make a list and set spending limits for each person on the list. Santa isn’t the only one who needs lists. Take the time to create a list of everyone you wish to give a gift to this Christmas and give yourself a spending budget for each person. Tally it up and make sure that you’ll have the cash on hand to avoid using credit cards to make purchases. If your ambitions are well-meaning but are more than you can afford without using credit make adjustments. Essentially the key is to start out knowing how much total you can spend and do everything you can to get your list to that number or below.
Do pay for items with cash only. Avoid taking any kind of card with you if you know you will be tempted to overspend even the slightest.
Do wrap gifts in newspaper or comic strips. In many families, this is already a tradition and saves lots of money over time. Buying paper in bulk may also be a better deal than even the small rolls at dollar stores.
Do make travel arrangements early. This will allow you to watch for the cheapest
If you’re traveling make sure to get your travel arrangements handled as early as possible. Often times the longer we wait the more we pay for airfare and hotel accommodations. Also, if you’re visiting family friends perhaps you have another family member that could use a lift and you could split fuel costs? It’s okay to get creative, especially if you’re faced with using credit to travel on.
Don’t buy expensive decorations.
Don’t wait to shop until the last minute.
Don’t make impulse purchases.
Don’t be fooled by misleading sales promotions.
Don’t pay to have gifts wrapped.
Don’t carry credit cards while shopping.
Don’t spend more than your budgeted amount.
Don’t shop unless you have your list handy.
Don’t purchase several items for the same person.
Don’t buy items that are not on your list, particularly when shopping with children.
Taking the time to follow this advice can really help you avoid a considerable amount of debt, and equally important, stress, this holiday season. You’ll have more energy to focus on friends and family and have no financial regret.
Do You Have Questions About these Ways to Avoid Overspending this season?
Comment Below and We’ll Answer as Quickly as We Can!
We regularly check our articles and blog posts for comments and make it a priority to respond.
So if you need more information on how to avoid overspending or have other questions about your personal finances, please feel free to comment below and we’ll get back on and answer as fast as we can!