Many of us have the tendency to overspend during the festive season, because we feel that this is the time to reward ourselves by buying unnecessary luxury items. On top of this many online and physical stores run sales during this period to further tempt us into making impulse purchases. This can lead to further overspending and debt.
However, when the year hits January again, all the negative effects of the spending start to catch up with credit card debt, more stress and regret.
Here are ways that you can avoid overspending this holiday season.
Know What You Going to Spend
Before you start planning your holiday shopping, you should have an idea of the amount of money that you want to spend. You need to go through the various categories of holiday spending like gifts, travel, decorations, food and so on. Your budget should then be divided between these categories and if you find that you are short then you may need to make sacrifices.
Trickery at Retail Stores
Even though you may have a budget and you are determined to stick to it, many of us still end up overspending. One of the main reasons that this happens is because retail stores are excellent at getting us to hand over our money.
They do this through loyalty cards, incentives to return to the store, retail credit, constant sales and other such tricks that get us to part with our money. You need to watch out for these and really think about if you need something or you just want it because it is on sale.
Give Yourself a Gift but Keep it Limited
A holiday trend that has appeared over the last few years in self gifting, which is where we treat ourselves to presents when we are out shopping for others. There is nothing wrong with buying yourself a treat, but you need to make sure you limit this so that you can avoid overspending.
Wait…we have some more tips for you below…
Don’t Pay for Convenience
The holiday season comes with hidden costs and some of these take the form of convenience costs. Our usual routine goes out the window with the holidays and there are more things to do and responsibilities, which means that we often end up paying the premium for convenience.
It may seem easier to order takeaway or to stop at a convenience store to pick up a few groceries, even though we know they are more expensive than a supermarket.
Also, with more time spent shopping it leads to unnecessary purchases like coffees, bites to eat and more. These costs may seem small, but they can quickly add up.
Are You Cutting Down on Gifts?
If you are cutting down on the number of gifts that you will be giving this year, then you need to already create this expectation. For instance, if you usually buy your kids a whole bunch of gifts, but are cutting down to just 3 gifts this year then you need to speak with them and make sure they understand.
Also, if you will be making changes to your gift giving for extended family then you should let them know. You may find they also want to change how they give gifts.
Can You Travel for Less?
If you need to travel to be with family over Christmas, then it can be expensive. However, you need to look for ways that you can save. You can shop around for the best flight deal, see if other travel dates are cheaper, pack on the go meals instead of being drawn to fast foods and so on.
Track Every Expense
You will need to keep track of your spending daily and it is essential if you wish to avoid overspending during the holiday season. You need to stick to your budget.
The holiday season means extra shopping, so it is vital that you track your spending during the month of December. All you need is a pen and some paper where at the end of each day, you record the items that you spent money on during the day. You will then need to compare this to the budget you created.
It is not easy to avoid overspending during the holiday season, but with a little extra effort, it can be done. And by the time January rolls around, you will be thanking yourself.