October 23, 2010

4 Tips to Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season

Tips to Avoid Overspending During the Holidays

holiday savings tip

The countdown to Christmas begins! As I have already mentioned, I shop year round to get the best deals on gifts. Plus, I make several homemade gifts which you can read about in our Holiday From the Heart Posts from last year. Below you find a few more tips to avoid overspending this holiday season.

How To Avoid A Holiday Spending Hangover

avoid overspendingAlthough the holiday season is a magical time of year, the frivolity that goes along with it can wreak havoc on your financial plan. No one wants to deny themselves or their families the fun and celebration that goes along with the season, right? Before you know it, you find yourself spending more money than you intended to spend, charging purchases you can’t afford on credit cards, and spending the months after the holidays staring at the pile of debt you’ve added to your life.

This year, though, you could stop the holiday spending hangover by pledging to get through the holidays without incurring any new debt. I know it will be tough, but I think you can do it if you follow these steps.

4 Tips to Avoid Overspending

Write up a holiday list.
Begin by determining how much money you can spend on your holiday festivities this year. Next you’ll need to list everything that you plan to buy this year. Don’t forget to account for special family dinners or travel plans. Finally, you should assign a dollar amount to each item on your list. Take care, though, that your list doesn’t add up to be more than the budget you set in the beginning of this step.

Pay with cash for everything.
Paying with cash serves two purposes. For one thing, paying with cash keeps you from charging something with your credit card (with the promise to pay your statement in full) and, then, getting sidetracked when the bill comes. Secondly, paying with cash encourages you to get the most for your holiday dollars. There’s just something about handing over your hard-earned cash that makes you think twice about each purchase.

Share entertaining costs with friends and family.
Don’t feel like you have to prepare and pay for a huge meal for your holiday celebration all by yourself. Instead, why not go potluck? Sharing the expenses of your get-togethers will keep the cost of entertaining from being to burdensome for anyone and allow you to skip some of the stress of preparing for the party.

Don’t fall victim to panic purchases.
The most carefully-planned holiday budget can get totally trashed by panic purchases. You know what I mean, right? Maybe your neighbor surprises you with a Christmas gift, so you feel like you have to get him one. The problem is that you didn’t plan to get him a gift, and there’s no room in your budget. Instead of rushing out with your credit card to get him “something,” offer him a sincere thank you and let the matter go. If you really feel like you have to reciprocate in some way, you could always take him a plate of goodies from your holiday baking later.

How To Avoid A Holiday Spending Hangover was reprinted with permission of NotMadeofMoney.com

For more tips check out these Alternative Gift Wrap Ideas.

Check out our Holiday Gift Guide for Gift Ideas.

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Topic: Avoid Overspending

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