The holiday season is just around the corner! Christmas brings with it the countless reasons to go shopping and buying gifts to give out to friends and loved ones, and this season can really cause some damage to your wallet.
However, holiday spending doesn’t have to take a huge toll on your budget! Overspending during the holidays will make you broke even before January starts. There are a range of things you can do to help turn Christmas into a financial success rather than financial excess. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan your Christmas shopping:
1. Set a budget for your Christmas spending
First, draw up a budget for your Christmas spending, not just presents, but the additional spending on food, drink and socializing. Embed this Christmas element of your budget within the rest of the household budget, so that you can manage the overall effect Christmas spending has on your finances over a number of months. Try not to allow yourself to be pressurized, even by your children or close family into spending more than you can really afford.
2.Track your spending
So, lots of people spend like crazy throughout December and never check in on their budget. They just think, I’ll worry about it in January. Future you has some advice here: Don’t do that. Track your expenses as you go, so you don’t end up overspending and ruining this month’s and next month’s budget. Making a list will not only help you keep track of your spending, but it will also help you save so much time energy and money because you’re already coming in prepared! Set a limit for how much you’re going to spend and stick to it.
3. Shop early and avoid last minute spending
One of the biggest mistakes people make during Christmas is buying things at the last minute. It is common to see heavy human traffic at the markets, shops, malls due to last minute Christmas shopping. This approach doesn't give enough time to compare and get the best prices. It pushes us to buy on impulse since we barely have time. Don’t wait for Black Friday to start Christmas shopping—look for sales all year long. We can begin our shopping from November or the first week in December to get good discounts.
4.Take advantage of Christmas deals and offers
Christmas shopping can really eat up on your finances, its important that you take advantage of the sales and offers available. Before making a purchase, make sure you compare prices of items, to enable you get the best price possible. By doing this, you get to enjoy savings on your purchases. Take your time to window-shop, comparing prices at various stores for discounts and great bargains.
5. Put a limit to the gifts purchased
Christmas isn’t just the season of giving but it’s also a time for thoughtfulness. There’s an old saying that goes, “It’s the thought that counts.” For some people, the thought of spending time together really is better than the joy of a physical gift. You’ve got to create your Christmas gift-giving philosophy.
What does giving mean to you? Is it about finding the perfect presents? Do you hope to impress others with how much you spend on them? Or do you feel obligated to buy for people? These motivations and others like them can really shape how you view the season. Consider other methods of expressing your appreciation such as acts of service, thoughtful messages, calls and home visits.
6. Plan beyond the holiday season
Some employers pay salaries earlier than usual in the month of December. This practice often creates the illusion of having excess money to spend during the holidays, hence the temptation to overspend without realizing that the next paycheck is farther than usual. We now know why most people perceive the 31-day month of January as 60 days. To make sure that January feels the same as any other month, plan to pay yourself a salary for January as part of your budget for December,
Enjoy yourself during this Yuletide festivities. Stay safe and healthy.