Almost everything you see this holiday season will encourage you to spend money. You may feel pressured to buy the “best” gift. In fact, according to the Consumer Federation, 1/3 of us plan on spending more during the holidays than last year.
Are you looking for ways to not blow your budget this holiday season? Make a commitment right now to be smart in your spending and keep to your spending and savings plan. Say it with me: “I will not break my budget this holiday season.”
So – HOW to make that happen. Hmmm…
Take a look at your financial situation and your goals:
- Focus on your needs and priorities – Not holiday presents or decorations; put your focus on priority items like a down payment for a house, saving for a child’s education, or building the emergency fund.
- Create a spending and savings plan to reach your goals –Do it now before you start holiday spending or incur any unnecessary debts.
Once you know how much you have to spend, use these tips to keep spending within your budget:
- Form gift exchanges (in other words, draw names within a group, so each person buys only one present instead of many) – Not all families may want to do this, but it should definitely work with friends. After all, reducing the number of your gifts you have to buy can save you money.
- Make homemade gifts – Make a food dish, movie night packages, remote holders, or candles. There are great ideas available on-line and in magazines and books to inspire you. You can knit, sew, glue, fold, stir, or recycle to create a handmade gift that keeps your spending low and your personal investment high.
- Share a skill –Give a coupon for one dog walk or one house cleaning; offer to teach your grandmother how to use the computer; or arrange to teach a niece or nephew how to cook a meal.
Don’t let this holiday season break the bank.