During Christmas, do you feel compelled to buy gifts for your children and loved ones? Even those who normal live within a strict budget like my husband and I, are not as cautious and end up spending way more than they intended.
Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year. And who can blame for you for indulging in the spirit of Christmas? Nevertheless, overspending during the holiday season is absolutely unnecessary. The interest charges you accumulate, especially paying the minimum payment will take months to payoff. Besides, this behavior disrupts your plans of achieving financial freedom and causes an astronomical amount of stress.
In order to avoid a financial hangover due to overspending, consider these tips to keep your gift shopping price tag reasonable:
Save a specific amount for holiday shopping. To budget successfully for the holidays, you should specify what you can afford to spend. Ideally, I would tell you to save throughout the year, and use your “holiday” savings to make your gift purchases. That way, you already have a limit identified.
Make a list, check it twice… and stick to it. Never go gift shopping without the list. The same principle applies to when buying groceries: don’t go to the grocery store hungry because you end up buying more than you need. This applies to Christmas shopping, too, take the list and stick to it. Impulsive spending is a guaranteed way to blow your budget.
Use cash not debit or credit cards. Studies show that consumers spend much more when using a credit card, so buy with cash, not credit. When using cash, you are much more aware of how much you are spending. It keeps you on track and out of debt. If you use a credit card, never charge more than you can repay when your bill is due. So, just commit to using cash to buy your gifts.
Take advantage of early deals. A great way of knowing when is a good time to buy is to use web and mobile apps dedicated to shopping deals. Financial experts say a foolproof way to avoid debt is to take advantage of early discounts and price cuts.
Spend quality time, not money. The best gift during the holiday is quality time with family and friends. The things that we remember during the holiday are moments, moments involving love, laughter, and good food. Celebrate the things that matter most in life: family, friends, health & happiness. They don’t cost a thing but have an incredible return on investment.
Eliminate yourself from your list. I know it’s hard not to buy a thing or two for yourself when shopping for others, especially when you see a REAL sale. If giving gifts to others is important, then sacrificing those personal gifts helps you stay within budget.
Think about your financial future, consider how overspending will impact your long-term financial goals. Prudential experts say that we’re all faced with hard choices, especially when it comes to what we want right now vs. saving for the future. Could the extra cash you have hidden away in that secret compartment in your purse make an impact on your retirement 30 or 40 years from now? Here are a few ways you can find out. http://bit.ly/1Pwx36q
The holiday season doesn’t have to be stressful for you and your family. If you approach it from a perspective where you have planned and then set goals, you are less likely to overspend. What strategies will you practice to avoid overspending? I’d love to hear from you.
You know I love this blog…totally agree. My one struggle as much as I love give to give, is shopping for me…lol. I think this is the only time I really think about shopping for me. I pass off my kids gifts to family and I don’t really spend much on them (my way of saving a lot of money…lol)
I think it is a struggle for us all. I find it easier to shop for myself during Christmas too. But I’ve been trying to stay within budget, so I eliminated shopping for me…unless I allocated “dollars” for me.