By applying these very simple saving tips for the Holidays, you don’t have to worry about spending excessively on the gifts. These tips will help you to stay within your budget and avoid entering the new year with Holiday debt.
4 Saving Tips for the Holiday Season
It can be difficult to reign in holiday spending because so many of us fail to plan for it, even though the holidays occur every year. Without a plan, we get into December, start making lists of what we want to get for people, and then decide if we have enough money, or if we’re going to overextend ourselves through credit.
But with a plan, we can have a clear idea of what our goals are, what our budget is, and what we have to do to get the two to match.
1. Make a List, Check it Twice
Start by making a list of the people for whom you want to buy holiday gifts. Include family and friends, any coworkers or office gift exchanges, and if you can, build in a little extra so you have hostess gifts for any last-minute invites you accept. As a side note, you should never feel pressured to get gifts for people although it happens all the time. Gifts should come from the heart and be an expression of care.
2. Set Realistic Goals for Your Gift Purchases
Once you have a list formulated, decide what you can reasonably spend on each recipient. You may want to buy the gas-powered BMW kid car for your nephew, but if that’s beyond your spend limit, don’t get it. You have multiple people on your list to buy for and if you overextend on everyone you want to shop for in 2019, you’ll end up spending 2020 paying off those bills, which may not be how you want to enter a new decade.
3. Stick to Your Holiday Budget
So, you have a list of people and a list of what you want to spend on each person or pet. Next, you have to match gifts up to the recipients. Aunt Martha? $50 and you can get her a lovely throw, handmade by a local artist. Nephew Sam? $25 and you can pick up a Lego set and maybe even a book. Fido the Pomeranian? $10 and you can get a handmade sweater from Etsy. As you go through your list, and decide what you want to get everyone, you can detail your plans and make sure you stay in budget.
4. Plan Ahead for the Holidays
How do you know what your budget is? Because you plan in advance, and set money aside for gifts as you would for any recurring expense, much like saving for retirement. If you’re in your own home, you know you have to budget for quarterly water bills and taxes, and if you rent you know your monthly obligations that occur. For holiday shopping, you can plan ahead, buy early, buy locally, make your own, and include any costs in your budget so you end the year on a positive note.