The holidays continue to wreak havoc on our budgets — and every year, things get a little more costly. Rather than opting out of gifts and decorating, there are ways to stay within budget. All it takes is a bit of self-restraint and preplanning.
- Shop early. This allows you to shop without pressure and research the best possible prices. You can also compare products and features and find sales.
- Draft a list. Being prepared is key. It lets you stay organized, focused, and helps prevent overbuying.
- Track gifts bought. Keep track of everyone you’ve bought for — and avoid the temptation to buy for yourself.
- Love to DIY? Have a unique talent? Or do you love to craft or bake? Create gifts for friends and loved ones instead of buying. When you craft the gift yourself, it’s almost always cheaper than buying it. Plus, a personal touch can’t be duplicated!
- Eliminate extra purchases. Don’t be tempted to shop for yourself or extras around the house. Nothing hurts your spending plan more than impulse purchases.
- Pick names. If it’s a larger group that’s exchanging, consider selecting names to keep the shopping manageable. This not only saves money but time and stress as well.
- Create chore coupons. Offer free house cleaning, yard work, or exterior work. Coupons are perfect for that person who has everything.
- Include holiday extras. Set aside funds for all the extras that invariably arise, such as decorations, candy, baking, or other special food items. You might also want to budget for travel or extra fuel.
- Plan with a Christmas Club. Use payroll deduction to help you save automatically throughout the year. It makes shopping easier!