Christmas is a time of giving. However, the desire to give may just cause you to overspend during the holiday season without you even realizing it. While giving presents to all the people you care about is a great way to show how much you value and appreciate them, it does not entail having to blow over your finances and even pile up on debt.
If you want to keep your finances intact for the next coming year, preparing a nifty list of Christmas survival guidelines can help you steer clear from overspending during the holidays.
This means you will still have plenty, if not just enough, savings to help you start fresh for the upcoming new year.
Create a Holiday Season Budget
According to an interesting study conducted by Bankrate, around two-thirds of the American population fails to set aside a specific holiday budget. Therefore, this results in unexpected expenses that can eat into a large chunk of their savings. To prevent this from happening, creating a holiday budget would definitely be in your best interest.
Following a strict holiday season budget forces you to spend just within your means while effectively keeping your savings intact. To plan for the holiday season, it is important to consider the type of presents you wish to give and the amount you are willing to spend on each person.
Apart from having a gift list, you may also want to pencil in the type of food you intend to make during the season. You may also want to weight the pros and cons between doing the cooking yourself or from ordering from a restaurant or an online food store. This way, you can avoid spending on unnecessary items or even racking up more credit.
Save Early, Buy Early
Instead of allocating a chunk or percentage from your December paycheck as part of your holiday season budget, why not start saving early? Industry experts advise individuals to put a portion of their monthly salary towards holiday spending. Doing so alleviates the pressure to save a huge amount of money at the very last minute.
In the same way, you might want to take advantage of numerous shopping opportunities that present themselves prior to the Christmas rush itself. With numerous sale days and holidays in the upcoming months, you are guaranteed to save a huge amount of money compared to buying things at full price come December.
This is partly the reason why putting money aside now is important. Look out for Black Friday deals in November to help you save at least 30% to 80% more than what you initially planned.
Keep a List with You at All Times
Make a list and check it twice to find out who’s naughty or nice. Since you’re playing Santa, you might as well keep a list of the people you intend to give presents to. A list comes in handy amidst all the rush. Not only will it serve as a reminder for all the gifts you need to buy and the errands you need to do, but it will also help you avoid over-shopping and overspending.
If there are more individuals outside of your immediate family, it’s best to cut it down to your closest friends and family. Personalized gifts and goodies such as homemade cookies and pastries will come a long way for those who were cut out from your original list. After all, it’s the thought that counts, right?
Preparing for the upcoming festivities doesn’t have to be stressful, and you don’t have to overspend. With the help of these useful tips, you can get ahead of the game and protect your finances in time for the beginning of a new year.