The holidays are approaching quickly, which means that you’re going to spend some time shopping for gifts, decorations and treats to celebrate the special occasion. If you have a bad habit of going overboard with your spending this time of year, you should take a look at these tips that can help you stay savvy without dampening your holiday spirit.
Overspending during the Holidays
You’re not the only one who gives their wallet too much of a workout every holiday. A survey conducted by Yelp found that 28% of Americans have gone into debt because of holiday spending on gifts, decorations, food and travel. On average, respondents spent $489 more than what they originally intended. That’s a lot of money.
So, how can you avoid this problem?
Make a Sensible Budget
A budget can help you keep your spending in check. Follow the guideline of how much you can reasonably afford to spend without affecting your normal monthly expenses or diving head-first into debt.
It’s important that you give your shopping budget some wiggle room. Spending all of your available savings can be just as financially risky as racking up too many charges on your credit card. Draining your account leaves you vulnerable to emergencies like car trouble or urgent trips to the dentist. Nothing will ruin your holiday fun quite like an accident that you can’t afford to fix.
Leaving some room in your budget for the unexpected is always a safe bet. To be extra careful, you should consider applying for a line of credit to get the cash you need whenever you don’t have enough savings to cover emergency costs. It’s a back-up plan for your back-up plan. The best way to get a line of credit is to apply online. You don’t have to leave your home to do it. Just fill out the application and wait to get notified for your approval. It’s easy.
Spending some time and energy on holiday items can save you from spending too much. DIY decorations, wrapping paper and gifts can save you lots of money.
You don’t have to be an expert crafter to make a wonderful gift. You can put a big smile on someone’s face when you hand them a tin full of freshly baked holiday cookies or a big square of homemade fudge.
Whittle down the List
You’re not Santa Claus. You don’t have to hand out gifts to everyone. It’s fine to leave your coworkers, neighbors, extended family members and even friends off of your list — especially if you can’t afford to stretch the budget. If you still want to show you care, send them a thoughtful holiday card or message.
Consider Gift Swaps
Another way to trim down your spending obligations is to suggest a gift swap. A gift swap like Secret Santa or Yankee Swap lets you worry about one present instead of a long list of them. You can also ask that the price-limit for the swap is low. That way, you won’t feel the pressure to overspend.
Embrace Small Celebrations
Raging Christmas parties and packed family reunions won’t be safe to host this year because of COVID-19. There is a silver lining to this upsetting news: you won’t feel pressured to overspend on attending or hosting holiday events this year.
Remember, you can still have a wonderful time with a much smaller group. Host an intimate party with your immediate family. Chat with your friends and extended family through a conference call. There’s no reason why you can’t dress to the nines or don your ugliest Christmas sweater during the chat.
You don’t have to empty your wallet and rack up debt this holiday season. You can do everything different this year. Break the cycle of overspending for good!