How to Easily Debt-Proof Your Holidays
With the holidays quickly approaching, you might start thinking more and more about your savings account. Will you have enough to cover gifts, let alone dishes to pass, traveling expenses, and special events? Here are a few tips that will help you create a debt-proof holiday plan instead of regretting your spending decisions come January.
Save up. It’s never too early to begin saving for the holiday season. In fact, automatically transferring small portions of each paycheck throughout the year into a specific holiday account might be the most painless way to finance your gift giving and holiday season. By the time the end of the year rolls around, you’ll already have a nice nest egg in your savings account.
Commit to a budget. Refuse to overspend by creating and committing to a budget. Establish a budget for gifts, one for food, one for travel expenses, hotel stays, and even holiday attire. Once you have a clearly defined budget, commit to sticking with it, even when you find good deals.
Use the envelope system. Divvy up your gift-giving budget by the people you need to buy for, and then stick cash for each person into an envelope. Once the money is gone, it’s gone. Don’t go over this amount. If the dish to pass you planned on bringing is going to cost too much in ingredients, find a cheaper alternative.
Honor your list. If you’re a list-making family, don’t veer from it. Your loved ones know what they want, or you have a pretty good idea what would make them smile on Christmas morning. Stick with the plan with and don’t get sidetracked by items you “think” someone would like or “hope” they would get use out of.
Make sure your spouse is on the same page. Don’t create extra strain around the holidays by not telling your spouse that you plan on saving more this season. Help them create a budget as well and encourage them to stick to it.
Don’t let red tags blind you. Stores are notorious for dropping prices around the holidays because they know shoppers can’t resist a good deal. If it’s not on your list, no matter how many dollars it’s been marked down, don’t get it. Don’t get caught up in clearance sections.
Say no to Secret Santa. While it may be a nice gesture to exchange secret gifts with coworkers or friends, this can put unnecessary strain on your budget this time of year.
Never shop for Numero Uno. “One for Johnny, one for me. One for Susan, one for me.” This just cannot be when you’re trying to stick to a budget around the holidays. You are the absolute last person you should be buying for while holiday shopping.
This season is about being with family and friends and showing love to those who are important to you. Getting into financial trouble over the holidays only makes the new year more difficult. So create a budget, plan accordingly, and stick to it throughout the remainder of the year.