5 Tips For Sticking With Your Holiday Budget
A great way to ring in 2016 is to have stayed on budget with your holiday spending this Christmas. At some point, we have probably all made a New Year’s resolution to cut back on our debt in the coming year. In order to achieve this goal, it is important to start the year without any holiday debt. Here are five tips to help you stick with your holiday budget:
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
Retailers spend millions of dollars on store layouts, end-caps, and other in-store marketing to make sure you buy more than you planned. Much like grocery shopping, going into a store with a plan of what to buy, for whom and an estimated amount to spend will ensure you stay on budget and not get caught up in the exciting promotions the store may be running.
Decide How Much You Can Spend & Stick With It
Determine a specific amount you will spend during the holidays and then stick with that budget. If you can’t control your spending, use cash instead of a credit card so you don’t charge more than you plan on spending. Do not add to your debt just to please someone. There are many ways to buy inexpensive gifts for friends and family, yet still show you took the time to find a thoughtful gift. The best holiday gifts are the ones with the personal touch. It is okay to invest some time rather than money in buying a gift.
Set Expectations For The Gift Exchange
Setting expectations with friends and family members is a great way to make sure you don’t spend more than each other. It is becoming more common for family and friends to set an amount for a gift exchange–it is financially wise to do so. This ensures that both people receive a similar gift and each of you stay in line with your holiday budget.
Keep Track Of Your Spending
A pen and paper is a proven method for tracking your expenditures. In addition, there are many good financial apps available on for your smartphone to help keep a record of your purchases. Make sure to record every dollar you spend–gifts, cards, candy, food, etc. You will be amazed how little impulse buying takes place when you force yourself to keep track of every dollar.
Start Shopping Early
It is never too early to start holiday shopping. Take advantage of a good deal no matter what month it may be. Don’t be afraid to make purchases early to help you stay on budget during the holiday season.