7 Tips for Not Going Broke this Holiday Season
Do you want to start the new year off knowing that you spent wisely during the holidays? Or are you going to be afraid to open your credit card bill come January?
Here are some holiday spending tips:
- Have a Budget! Make a list of the people you plan to give gifts to. Decide ahead of time how much you will spend on each. There’s no easier way to over-spend than to shop without a budget.
- Start early. It’s easier to make good buying decisions and explore more present options when you aren’t up against the clock the day before Christmas. Last minute desperation often leads people to overspend.
- Shop with a Plan. Come up with ideas for presents and do research online ahead of time. That way when you go shopping you already know what you are planning to buy. This helps keep you within your budget and won’t waste time.
- Realize the perfect gift doesn’t have to be expensive. Find that something which has special meaning to that person. For example, maybe it’s a framed picture of a good time you shared together. Be creative.
- Make Christmas more about the experience. For kids, the only thing they focus on is the presents. It’s never too late to change their mindset.
Instead, emphasize memorable family activities. Extended family get-together’s. Tree cutting and decorating. Putting up lights on the house. Singing carols. Baking cookies and delivering them to friends and neighbors. Giving to charity.
I’m not saying don’t give presents. But de-emphasize expensive presents as the reason for the holiday and make it more about fun activities with family and friends.
- Agree to just give presents to the kids. Make an agreement with other adults in your extended family that the adults won’t exchange presents.
This will obviously save money. But you’ll also find that even family members who are not budget conscious will like it. This is because it relieves the stress of trying to find the perfect gift for everyone. Kids tend to be much easier to shop for.
- Don’t compare your gift giving to that of your friends. In other words, don’t try to “keep up with the Jones’s.”
If you have other ideas please share them.