The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with your friends and family. It’s only natural to want to spend more and more to make things perfect. The truth is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make the holidays special. If you have a problem sticking to a budget, here are a few tips on how to keep from overspending during the holidays.
Set a Realistic Budget
First things first. Set a realistic budget. If you set a budget too small, you’ll find yourself breaking the budget quickly. Sit down and consider each expense. For example, think about how much you want to spend on gifts. You might decide to spend no more than $25 on each person. You might then decide to spend $300 total on holiday food.
Know How Much You’ll Spend on Everything
Once you’ve thought about each expense, you can add everything up to get your total. If you find that the total is too much to fit into your overall budget in November and December, you can go back and adjust each expense until the budget is doable. Once you have that total, you’ll know how much you need to save each week to meet your total.
Make a List
It’s important that you shop with a list. Make a list of who you’re shopping for and what you have in mind for that person. As you buy something, write it next to that person’s name and how much it cost and how much you have left to spend on that person.
You also want to look over your recipes for holiday meals and make a list so you don’t forget anything. Look for sales and as you buy things, mark them off your list.
Hide Those Credit Cards
Don’t let yourself go holiday crazy by reaching for those credit cards. It may be tempting to spend a bit extra here and there and just charge it. You’ll regret it. Many people end up paying for Christmas until the next Christmas. Don’t let yourself go into debt trying to make the holidays special. It's just not worth it!
If you really have trouble with overspending, put money for each person/category into a cash envelope. Once the cash is gone for each envelope, you're done spending on that person/category.
Shop with Intent and Purpose
All the decorations, specialty foods, and gifts are tempting. But you must shop with intent and purpose. This ensures that you don’t waste money or overspend.
The holidays make it so easy to overspend. Thankfully, you can make a budget and list to help ensure you keep your bank account from bottoming out so that you don't overspend during the holidays and keep this year's budget on track.