How Not To Overspend This ChristmasDecember 7, 2018
The season of giving may lead to more giving than you can afford! With the average consumer spending over nine times the amount during Christmas than any other holiday of the year, we all could use some helpful tips on how to cap our spending before it gets too out-of-hand. Keep your wallet and the spirit of the holidays intact as you shop for friends and loved ones this season!
Skip The Extras
Let’s admit it; there are plenty of unnecessary expenses that go into our holiday gifting—some we don’t even notice. The ‘Latte Effect” is a recent phenomenon that is slowly becoming a staple of holiday shopping culture—expensive latte drinks, yummy jumbo pretzels, and other food and drink specialties drain our wallet while shopping to name a few. Next time you are ready to hit the store, make sure to go nourished, or travel with refreshments from home, so you aren’t tempted to spend the extra cash.
Reuse and Recycle
Speaking of extra, consider more DIY approaches to gifting. Things like gift-wrap, bows, and other gift decorations are still an expense, and also can be wasteful. Whether it be the gift itself or how you package it—use old newspaper, magazines, or other paper to wrap your presents. Newspapers or magazines can be unique and colorful as gift-wrap. You could also skip the paper altogether and gift your presents in a tote or canvas bag that your loved one can reuse—plus, it’ll be another thoughtful gift!
Make a Plan and Stick to It
It isn’t easy staying ahead of the game, especially when the holidays throw curveballs at your schedule and routines. However, with some foresight, your wallet will be thankful. Set aside some time pre-holiday to set a budget that fits within your needs as well as a list to help guide your shopping experience. If you go into a store without a plan, your chance of overspending increases. Be clear and confident of your mission before heading out.
Track Your Spending
However prepared you are, there will always be a few surprises. Make sure to note your spending and refer to your budget regularly as you shop this holiday season. This tracking can be done old school with a pen and a piece of paper or a handy app on your phone. If you find yourself approaching your limit fast, take the time to re-evaluate your remaining items and intentionally search for deals and discounts. Catching your spending going out of control in the act is the first step to correcting it, so you remain on course.
Seeing our friends and loved ones react to thoughtful gifts is one of the most precious parts of every holiday season. We all love playing Santa for a day! With these simple tips, you can get the best of both worlds for your friends, family, and wallet!