The holidays are rapidly approaching and many of us will start to get that feeling of anxiety when we think of buying for the holiday season. If you haven’t set any money aside for holiday shopping, don’t dispair! This article will give you three tips to avoid overspending during the
1. Set Your Limits – Decide what you can realistically afford this holiday season without causing yourself a lot of stress and anxiety. If you haven’t set anything aside for holiday shopping, you may need to use money from a different area of your budget to cover these expense. For example, if you have money set aside for “fun money” to treat yourself or money set aside for dining out, you could cut back in both of these areas for November and December and use the savings towards your holiday spending bill. Remember, gifts don’t have to cost money. These days, since we are all so busy, many people just appreciate time spent together!
2. Know Who to Buy For – Making a list of the people you plan to buy for this season can help you stop you from overspending. If you have a big family, instead of getting everyone a gift, suggest drawing names to cut down on the cost for everyone. Decide who is important on your gift giving list and only buy for those people. Instead of buying gifts for all your friends, suggest a “friends” night in January or February where you can have a potluck or Bunco night to catch up after things have slowed down. If everyone brings a dish, the cost will be minimal but it will still be a fun time together that everyone can remember.
3. Avoid the Deal Sites – While this may sound counterproductive, the deal sites like Groupon and Living Social will soon start heavily promoting the holiday “deals”. Of course a deal is not a deal unless you need it and will use it! Deal sites can tempt you to buy things you wouldn’t normally buy just because it is at a reduced rate. When your holiday shopping is done, unsubscribe from the deal sites so you are not tempted to spend more or buy things for people who are not on your list. You can always resubscribe at the beginning of the year when things have slowed down.
The holiday season doesn’t have to be a stressful time for you and your family. If you approach it from a perspective where you have planned and then set goals, you are less likely to overspend.
Jenny Kerr is the creator and author of the blog, The Jenny Pincher where she teaches single women how to get out of debt and build wealth. Her background is in banking and consulting and she has taught budgeting in a classroom setting. Jenny loves social media so be sure to follow her on Twitter and say hi!