The holidays are a joyous time of cheer and giving, but in a consumer society, they are also a time of spending. If you want to learn how to avoid overspending during the holidays season, then keep on reading. We’ve got 4 tips that might help keep your balances in check (pun intended).
With so many holidays packed into a period of only a few months, you have a lot of expenses to take care of in a short amount of time.
There are a few obvious costs to consider like gifts and food, but there are plenty more that will sneak into your wallet before January.
If you are like many people, you will need to consider decorations, candy, wrapping paper, postage, travel, possibly a tree, and maybe even a pumpkin or two.
Here are some ways to save this season:
There comes a time in every person’s life when a handprint on a paper ornament stops passing for a gift. And from there, the list of people on your gift list gets longer and longer.
First, it’s just your family, then your friends, then acquaintances. Before you know it you could be exchanging gifts with the mailman.
Of course, there are those in your life that you want to show your appreciation for by giving them a gift but many of us also have those with whom we feel obligated to bestow presents.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to deal with the simultaneous joy and burden of gift-giving without breaking the bank.
Many people suggest giving gifts that you make yourself. This is good advice for some but not everyone is a craftsman.
However, there are still less expensive options for you to explore.
- Play to your strengths. Try to translate your personal skills into a gift idea. For instance, if you can bake, give cookies to your relatives. Homemade food, in general, is a great route to take because it is generally appreciated and cheaper than expensive gifts.
- Consider intangibles. Use your time to give someone a service instead of a product. Offer to wash a car, walk a dog or babysit.
- If you have kids, make sure they have realistic expectations. Every year there is some hot new toy out there that parents clamber over one another to get their hands on, no matter the price. Whether they believe in Santa or not, knowing real world limits will be better for you and them.
As many Christmas movies have shown us, waiting until the last minute to take care of your holiday shopping causes a lot of problems, but in real life, it isn’t as funny.
Late shopping doesn’t only lead to holiday stress; it’s also hard on your budget. On the other hand, starting early has many benefits.
Before the holiday rush, take some time to lay out your budget for the season.
You can do this on your own or use budgeting sites or templates to help you. Set aside money for each and any expense that you can anticipate.
With a pre-game planning session, you can avoid having to suddenly pay for everything all at once.
Another thing you can do early is online shopping. Don’t get caught on Christmas day saying, “Your gift is currently on its way.” By giving yourself enough time in advance to order a gift online so it arrives when you want it, you can avoid having to pay for rush delivery.
Send Christmas E-cards
With the ever-growing rise of social media, it is becoming easier to connect to friends and family.
The need for sending physical letters is dwindling. Take your Christmas cards into the digital age by sending a free e-card and forgoing the cost of cards and postage.
Then you just have to send cards to elderly family members who haven’t embraced technology as you have.
Focus on Family
No matter what holiday you celebrate, you should take the time to remind your family about the importance of the season.
Sure, gifts are fun but be sure to keep them in perspective. Hopefully these tips on how to avoid overspending during the holidays will prove to be helpful to you and your family.
Wish you all the best during these times and in the new year to come from all of us here at The Money Feed.