It’s that time of year again, which means lots of food, family time, and gifts. It can be hard not to feel like you have to spend a lot of money when this time of year comes around. Here are some tips to help take control of your holiday spending to ensure you don’t enter the new year with a ton of debt.
Set A Budget
The holidays come every year, however people still feel like it comes too fast and they never feel prepared. Not being prepared and not creating a budget can make you feel like you are running around like a chicken that has lost its head.
Sit down and create a budget early that you can have as a guideline. Keep in mind that the only way a budget will work is if you can have some self-control. If you create a budget and it gets lost in a drawer a couple of months down the road, I can promise you that you will find yourself drowning in holiday debt and stress.
You know it’s coming: gift-giving season. If you start shopping for gifts a few months in advance it will hurt your wallet less than when the holidays are already here. Not to mention that it will be less stressful. Can you even imagine having the gift shopping done before December?
When you are all over the place with gift buying it is easy to lose track of things that have already been purchased for people. This often leads to overspending due to lack of remembering what has been purchased already. Try keeping a list of people’s names and things that you have bought for them.
Do Not Try to Impress
We all see people trying to impress people (and maybe we are guilty of it ourselves) around the holidays. Keep in mind that if it is your turn to host the family Turkey Day party and you can’t afford to decorate like Aunt Sally, do not put yourself into debt trying to one-up her.
Remember the Reason for the Season
Like Mr. Grinch has tried to teach us since we were little kids, let’s try to remember the true meaning of Christmas. The holidays are not about the things that can be purchased. Try spending quality time with loved ones and create and repeat the traditions. A true loved one would not want you to enter financial debt because of them.