Even with the best intentions, many people fail to stick to their budget during the holiday season. Overspending has almost become a tradition this time of the year. With friends, family-members, coworkers to buy gifts for its no wonder that it becomes almost impossible to stick to a budget. The good news is, there are several ways that can help you in this regard and keep you from overspending. Following are some guidelines to stay on a budget during the holidays.
Set Holiday Spending Limits
It is important to set limits. Knowing exactly how much you can comfortably spend makes knowing when you are done shopping much easier. Once you have set holiday spending limits and have a specific number in mind, you can completely avoid overspending. When calculating your spending limits, you should make sure that your holiday shopping won’t be biting into other areas of your budget and only use money that you have designated for holiday shopping.
Make Your Own “Naughty and Nice” List
Once you have created a budget and set holiday spending limits, the next step is to make your own “naughty and nice” list. This is because sooner or later you are likely to find that you cannot afford to buy all the food and gifts you planned on buying. If you find that you cannot buy gifts for everyone on your list, then it would be a good idea to cut down on the number of people from it. Then, choose homemade or DIY gifts for those people to ensure that you spread the holiday cheer.
Be Realistic About Your Budget
This seems easy enough, but unfortunately many people don’t know where to begin, so they don’t. It would help if you looked at what you spend last year during the holidays on travel and gifts to create the preliminary budget without forgetting the small costs, e.g. décor, postage, out-of-town guests, etc. All these things will add up and bust your budget. So, be realistic and create a savings plan to help you get there.
Build Better Spending Habits
Sticking to your holiday budget will be virtually impossible if you don’t have good spending habits. So, it is recommended that you follow these guidelines to maximize your savings and ensure that your shopping habits don’t take an unexpected toll on your wallet:
• Start saving for the holiday season before it begins.
• If you are doing online shopping, be sure to account for the shipping costs.
• Look for deals or coupons that can help you save money on purchases.
• Reduce credit card spending.
• Reduce impulse buying.
Provide Personalized Gifts
Store-bought gifts aren’t always the best choice. You should consider gifting homemade items that you have personalized yourself. These will carry a lot of value. Another option are experience gifts. Most of the time, it’s better to gift an experience. Not only will your family and friends appreciate the effort and thought you put into such gifts, but they will also save you a lot of money.
Sticking to a budget during the holidays is one of the things that many people find challenging. If you are also having a hard time and know that you will overspend this season, follow the above-listed guidelines to stay on the right path.
Photos by: Madison Inouye, giftpunditscom, hope house press leather diar studio, visual stories micheile, Lucie Liz