The holidays are a very exciting time of year for most people. We all enjoy giving our loved ones the appreciation they deserve and showing it to them through gifts. However, holiday spending often gets out of hand and you're left with anxiety about your next credit card payment. Don't worry, you're not alone! Follow these tips and tricks to keep your holiday spending under control this year.
- Create a Budget
Decide your budget based on your own finances and your preference of how much of that you are comfortable with spending. Write a list of all the people that you plan on buying gifts for this year and set a dollar amount that you can spend on each person.
- Don't Forget About The Small Expenses
Small purchases add up quicker than you think. The cheaper items are actually where a lot of people go overboard on holiday spending. A $20 present doesn't seem like much when you're buying it, but if you have that same process 5 times you're already $100 over budget.
Don't forget about holiday necessities either! You'll probably end up buying stocking stuffers, wrapping paper, gifts bags, ribbons/bows, food to make dinner for the family. You also have to think about shipping all of the presents, paying mailing costs, and buying stamps. (If you online shop, you can avoid shipping it twice. Instead of getting the item shipped to your house, wrapping it, and then shipping it to the person its for. Just type their address on the website! A lot of websites offer to gift wrap the present for you too)
- Buy What You Came For
Walk into a store with your list in hand of exactly what you need. Buy those items and leave to resist the temptation of impulse shopping. This tip is hard to follow but your wallet will thank you later!
- Pay With Cash
Before you even start shopping, withdraw the amount of money you are willing to spend in cash. When you go shopping, leave the credit card at home so you can only spend what you have on hand.
Prefer online shopping? No problem! Go buy a visa card with your allotted amount of money and only use that card when you're online shopping. Once that card runs out of funds you know you have reached your limit
- Secret Santa
You're probably not the only person in your family who is wanting to save more money around the holidays. Try suggesting a Secret Santa exchange to the other adults and relatives. This way you only have to buy a present for one person instead of everyone
- It's the Thought that Counts
A lot of the time, people will appreciate the thought and effort put into a gift. if you can't afford to buy everyone a present, try making something or even bake some cookies. There are plenty of easy and cheap DIY christmas projects out there that will mean the world to the person you give it to. If you aren't at all crafty and you aren't a great baker, buy some pre-made cookie dough and put it in the oven. Once again, it's the thought that counts!
- Shop by Yourself
Research suggests that 64% of adults spend more money when they shop with friends. Their influence will more likely than not make you buy something that you don't need to purchase. If you absolutely hate shopping on your own, go with a friend that you know will keep your best financial interest in mind.