Nine Tips To Help You Manage Your Spending for the 1 Holiday Season

Neha Gupta

The holiday season is here and it comes with a lot of Christmas spending and for the New Year. However, the festive season also means that you will be spending more and you can end up doing some unwelcome purchases. It is therefore important to plan your spending this festive season so that you don’t overspend.

It is important to spend wisely and save but that does not mean that you have to be a budget buster. However, it is important to keep track of your finances even if you cut your spending this holiday season. Here are tips that can help you plan and be in control of your holiday spending:

  1. Proper budgeting for the holiday season

You should have a holiday budget and you will have to do this but set a limit on what you want to spend. Set a limit for your credit card and what you can affordably buy form your bank account. This is an opportunity to give your budget a fighting shape to determine what is affordable and how much you should spend.

When planning your spending this holiday keep in mind your monthly bills. Gifts during the festive season usually take a considerable amount and it is thus important you budget for them. Give your budget some breathing space so that in the event you have forgotten about something you will have some cash spend. If you don’t have money for gifts you can cut back on other expenses such as your morning latte and avoid putting your holiday expenses on credit cards.

  1. Keeping track of your expenditure

The budget will work optimally if you effectively track your spending. You can have a holiday fund account which will help you differentiate your regular spending and holiday expenses. You can track your expenses effectively by using spreadsheets where you key in your expenses in line with your budget. Keep the tracker updated because that is the way you can know how much you have left to spend from your holiday fund.

  1. Have a list of presents to buy

Sometimes you can get excited in for the holiday season and spend more than you should. It is important to have a gift list and cut back on extras from your budget. For instance, you can cut some of your regular expenses that are not necessities and put that to the purchase of gifts. Equally, you don’t have to buy gifts for a lot of people outside your family. Reduce the number of people to gift and you can, for instance, prepare cookies and give to the people cut from your list.

  1. Your holiday spending should be within your finances

We are all in different stages of financial life and thus it is not advisable to buy some of the fanciest gifts just because a family member did. If you are having difficulties deciding whether your friends or family will accept your gift think of what you received when a family member had a tighter budget. Do not incur debt just because you want to gift someone a fancy gift.

  1. Collect coupons and coupon codes

This holiday season several retailers are running promotions and end-year bonuses. Therefore you can get the best deals on gifts for your family and friends. Before shopping, it is important to perform a search on coupon codes for online stores the same as local retail stores. Compare the gifts you want to purchase across stores and where there is a promotional offer you may end up saving considerably by taking advantage of the deals.

  1. Choosing affordable traditions

Family traditions are important and they make the holiday amazing but they equally come with an attached financial obligation. Though traditions are necessary they don’t have to be expensive. There are so many traditions or activities that you can engage in that are affordable and cheaper. They include sledding, watching a movie at home, visiting neighborhood Christmas lights, caroling, and making Christmas crafts among others.

  1. Offering customized gifts

Sometimes small thoughtful gifts are amazing than gifting someone an expensive gift that they won’t use. It is important to avoid impulse spending to buy trendy stuff and consider having something the person receiving the gift will use. For instance, if a family member prefers baking but doesn’t have the hang of home baked pie crusts you can consider gifting them with a pastry-making tool and a fool-proof copy of the recipe.

  1. Instead of parties have a group volunteering activity

Sometimes you can spend a fortune during the holiday season organizing for a party and end up overspending. Instead of spending extravagantly to impress this season think of a volunteering activity in which you will have to spend less with your friends and will have done something fulfilling. You will spend quality time together with your friends and it will be fulfilling instead of ending the day with thoughts on how you have spent unwisely.

  1. Plan beyond the holiday season

The holiday season will come and go but after that, you will have to think of bills and other expenses. It is important therefore to have a head start and see to it that your budget plans for New Year. This is the opportune time to lay a strategy on how you will pay off your credit card debt. Although it is important not to put your holiday spending on your credit card it sometimes can happen. Ensure whatever you will put on your credit card is payable within a month. Equally, you should have a payment plan that eliminates the debt within three months.

 

Bottom line

It is important to keep in mind that you can fall into a spending cycle this holiday season. But if you have planned your budget well and set a limit of what you spend you don’t have to worry about finding yourself in debt next year. Spend time with your family and friends and don’t purchase gifts on dollar value but base them on sentiment and you will be smiling once the holiday is over.

(By Neha Gupta)

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