With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s tempting to fall into the trap of overspending on gifts for family and friends. A gift is a great way to show thanks and appreciation to the people in your life that you hold dear, however it’s quite easy to overspend on gifts during the holidays. If you’re worried about how this extra spending could negatively impact your bank balance and debt levels, now is a good time to start planning on how to better manage your spending during this festive season. Here are five tips that can turn your holiday spending into a spending holiday:
Give Yourself a Budget
We find that one of the most important things is to create a holiday budget and stick to it. That way you can forecast the amount of spending you’re planning to do, while still staying within your financial means. To ensure that you’re checking off everyone on your list while still keeping things affordable, create a mini-budget for the season that includes the people you’re buying for, and the amount you’re willing to spend on them. With this budget in place, you’ll find that it’s much easier to avoid overspending this season.
Make a List, Check it Twice
It’s time to take Santa’s advice and make a list (maybe check it twice). It’s tempting to buy gifts for everyone in your life, but sadly for most people it’s not a feasible option. If your shopping list includes an excessive amount of family and friends, your list may need a little pruning. Make a list of everyone you’d like to buy gifts for, and begin eliminating people until you have a nice small group of gift recipients to be. If you’re feeling some serious holiday remorse for those you’ve decided to exclude from your list, a D.I.Y gift is an inexpensive and thoughtful alternative. Sometimes it’s the thought that counts.
Giving someone a homemade gift can sometimes carry more weight than any store-bought gift could. If you’re really concerned about spending this holiday season, a D.I.Y gift is a thoughtful and less costly alternative. A small thoughtful gift made by you is a lot more unique and thoughtful than an item that can be picked out from a store.
Do Online Research
In a day and age where internet and social media is so ubiquitous, it’s extremely easy to do extensive research on any particular item that you’re planning on purchasing. Online shopping and shipping is a lot cheaper and faster compared to buying a gift from a retailer. There’s often better selection and availability, and it gives you the opportunity to compare value vs quality of an item.
Cash vs Credit
Again, it’s extremely easy to fall into a trap of overspending, and purchasing all your gifts using your credit card is a surefire way to overspend. Putting everything on credit may be tempting, but using cash is a much safer alternative. Not only do you realize the expense immediately, but you can choose to withdraw a specific amount of money and keep that as your spending cap.
Gifts are a great way to show that you care, but ultimately it’s the thought that counts during the Holiday Season. As a certain Christmas character once said “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more”.