Is holiday spending stressing you out?
Here are some tips to help get you through the spending season this year and to get you planning for next year.
Step 1 – Make a list
List each person you need to purchase a gift for, and some gift ideas, but most importantly, assign a dollar value beside each person’s name. It may seem odd at first but if you have a budget in mind per gift, before you do your shopping, you are much more likely to stay on budget and your shopping will be more focused and less impulsive.
Step 2 – Trim the list
If you are having a tough year financially, are there friends or acquaintances that you can remove from your list? Or instead of a purchased gift, how about some baking or a get together with friends in lieu of gifts?
Step 3 – Start early
It may be too late for this year but starting early either by purchasing gifts or setting aside cash each month, to relieve stress and financial burden can make your holidays much more joyful.
Step 4 – Don’t forget the other expenses
During the holiday season, it’s not just about the gifts. How many parties or gatherings will you be attending? Do you need a new outfit? What about extra food and alcohol purchases? Think of some ideas to reduce the costs associated with the season.
Here are some practical ideas:
- Look through your closet first. Is there a dress you’ve forgotten about? How about a buy and sell group, maybe something new to you? Borrow from a friend or sister and they can do the same with you!
- How about a potluck for a gathering or the main meal? There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking everyone to bring a dish to help fill out the table. Your day will be less stressful and your pocketbook with thank you.
Remember to enjoy the season, the spirit, and the gifts, just do it on a budget and within your means.