Though Christmas time is such a fun and fantastic time of the year, it isn’t always so fun for your pocketbook. The holiday season leaves us wandering into stores, clicking through online deals, and spending more money than we can afford. You may justify your spending habits by saying that you are spending more on other people, but we often end up treating ourselves just as much. Today we are discussing ways that you can stick to a budget and leave the holiday season without any lingering debt.
Don’t Over-Do The Decorating
It can be so easy to think that you have to buy anything and everything to bring Christmas cheer to your family and friends. Not to mention, everywhere we go shopping we are surrounded by a million cute decoration ideas. It can be easy to convince ourselves that we absolutely need another Santa fixture or nativity scene when we don’t. So, I would advise only buying one new holiday decoration every year. That way you can splurge and get something you like and need. This will allow you to still buy a decoration, without, completely going over budget. And, don’t be afraid to ask family members for extra decorations they might have that they would be willing to give you for free.
Buy Intentionally, Not Expensively
Sometimes the best gifts we can get someone, are a lot less expensive than we think we should be spending. How many times have you gone overboard buying for your mom? If you are anything like me, your love language may be through gifts. But, try to think about what your loved ones would use and want. So, this Christmas, be smart about your gift ideas. Think long and hard before you enter your credit card information. Don’t buy your mother a sweater from Nordstrom’s when she just wants some comfy pajamas from Old Navy.
Don’t Tempt Yourself
Try not to put yourself in a position where you are going to spend more money than you want to. So, don’t go out shopping a bunch of times, or go shopping at all after you’ve bought all your gifts. Don’t get trapped into spending your Saturday morning perusing Amazon. As human beings we just like stuff. And, if I’m honest, I also love the feeling of buying something new. So if you know that there are stores that you are more susceptible to buy stuff from, don’t go out of your way to go to that store. And absolutely stay far away from Target.
Have An Accountability Partner
Talk to a friend or family member about trying to keep each other accountable for your spending during the holiday season. That way, you have someone you can call when you JUST have to get another lipstick at Sephora or another scarf. It is wise to have someone who you can spend time with outside of malls.
Create A Budget
Take a look at the state of your finances, and be realistic about what you will be able to spend on your family and friends. If you just don’t have the money for gifts, opt for something crafty or sentimental instead. It isn’t a bad idea to let other people look over the state of your bank account to let you know what they think you can spend as well. The point is, make a budget, write it down under every person’s name before you even think of gift ideas. You don’t want to think of the most expensive gift ever for your Dad, and then realize that there is no way you can afford it. Yes, Christmas is all about giving, but you’ll enjoy the season much more if you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck to pay for all your gifts.
Be Smart About The Parties You Attend
Don’t feel like you have to attend every single Christmas party you are invited to. Even though you might not have to bring a gift, you will have to spend money on food, a potential new outfit, and alcohol, all which can add up over time. So don’t be afraid to stay in one weekend and just watch your favorite Christmas movies. Attend some Christmas parties, but don’t be afraid to watch your pocketbook and stay in.
Look For Deals
Now that Cyber Monday and Black Friday have passed, you may be worried that all the deals have disappeared for the season. That’s not true. Most major brands and stores have sales that continue well into December and especially right before Christmas. Set aside time to scour the internet each week to see the prices of the gifts you want to purchase. You never know when you are going to get the perfect price. But, by practicing patience, you will be able to get great gifts for a low price.
Having to reign in your Christmas spending is never a fun topic, but it is necessary for all of us who don’t want to have a Blue Christmas. Happy shopping and I hope you can bless the people in your life with some fabulous gifts this year!
For our young adult’s budgeting guide, click here.