Giving gifts, traveling to see extended family, entertaining friends and coworkers during holiday parties and spending quality time with those closest to us all define the holiday season. Unfortunately, each of these otherwise enjoyable activities can make a substantial dent to anyone’s bank account and can quickly derail even a financially savvy person’s pristine budget. In order to steer clear of the spending traps that the holidays bring, it is important to follow some tried and true budgeting tips during this time of the year.
One of the most effective budgeting tips is to set a budget and actually sticking to it. If the goal is to not get caught up in excessive holiday spending, creating a specific budget for seasonal spending can be a smart first step. In order to establish spending limits for travel, entertainment and those important gifts, it is crucial to review what was spent last year and see where improvements can be made. If you spent more than expected on gifts, you may want to set a limit for each person on the receiving list in order to not go over what you can afford. For bigger purchases during the holiday season, planning in advance can make the difference between being over or under your spending limits for this year.
Although store bought gifts can be an easy selection for friends and family, getting in touch with your creative side can have a positive impact on your holiday spending budget. Homemade gifts can bring an extra degree of meaning and appreciation from those receiving, and there are plenty of online resources that can provide a wide variety of crafty, thoughtful present ideas this holiday season.
Another way to steer clear of financial woes after the holiday season comes in the form of giving back. Instead of planning to spend hard-earned cash on relatives or coworkers this year, attend a charity event to package meals for the needy or volunteer for a community charity. Invite the people on your gifting list to attend with you and encourage them to spend time, not money, this season.
There are other budgeting tips that mainly involve spending less on everyday expenses. But with the holiday season, these three main budgeting tips can help you spend less. The holiday season presents a great deal of temptation to overspend, and for those who are unprepared heading into the end of year, it is easy to find one’s self behind the curve for saving or debt repayment. Instead of spending an excessive amount on gifts, travel or entertainment this year, set a seasonal budget, consider creating instead of buying, and give back to your community in lieu of gifting this year. Each of these budgeting tips will help you stay on track for your specific financial goals, and start the New Year ahead of the game.