The holidays are almost here. The biggest spending season of the year. We’re all getting ready to start our Christmas list, buying feasts, or visiting family. While you’re doing that, though, you need to make sure you’re staying within a budget. control your goal should be a debt-free holiday season. Here are a few tips on how to control your holiday spending.
Plan & List
This year while you’re making your gift list also make a spending plan. Plan out when you will buy what items. Setting yourself a timeline will help you stay on budget and will eliminate being in a rush before the holidays.
I am guilty of this. I want my kids to have the best, and sometimes I see friends posts on social media and think I have to buy more for my kids to have a better holiday. Remember you don’t know their financial situation. You don’t know if they went into debt for the holidays. Stop comparing yourself and your gifts to your friends and family.
No Payment plans
I know all those payment plans look great. There are even ones that don’t have interest. Here’s the thing though in the end, you end up having monthly payments that you can’t afford. If you read the terms and conditions usually if you’re late the company starts adding late fees on, so while they seem like a great option now they can hurt you and your budget later.
Instead of using cash or your debit card to buy gifts for Christmas put the money on a Gift card. If you do this there’s no overspending since you can only spend what you have on the card. It’s a great way to keep you on your budget.
Make sure you’re buying the item because you need to buy it not just because something is a great price. Stores always have sales around the holidays, and sometimes they are so tempting just make sure you stay on budget.
While sales can hurt your wallet they can help. On your big-ticket items make sure you compare prices and check for sales.
Not everything has to be about gifts. Growing up I couldn’t tell you one thing I received for Christmas, but what I do remember is making Christmas cookies with my grandmother. Every year we would make and decorate cookies before “Santa” came. Those are some of the best times I remember with her, so now I do it with my kids. I pull out sprinkles, cookie cutters, and just let them have fun. It doesn’t cost much, but the memories will last a lifetime.
You don’t have to do Christmas cookies. It could be anything from coloring to watching a movie. Just make it something that you do special with your kids this time of year.
The holidays are the season of spending, the season we have to watch our budgets even more, but it’s also about family. People seem to forget that and want to focus on the gifts. This year try to make it about helping others, giving, family time, and just loving each other. The amount of money you spend on gifts doesn’t matter. The time, the love, and the memories mean more
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