Every winter, your bank accounts take a huge hit trying to keep up with the demands of holiday shopping. You spend more than you’d like on food, decorations, presents and much more. And you’re not the only one.
People all over the country overspend and jump into debt this time of year. Last year, the National Retail Federation reported that the average American spends just over $1000 over the winter holidays. The Federation also finds that people are spending more and more every single year.
Are you tired of overspending? These are some tips that will help you be smarter about your holiday shopping this year:
Set a Shopping Limit
Go through your budget to see what you can afford to spend on the holidays, whether it’s for decorations, presents or treats. That is your shopping limit. Look at it as a boundary that you can’t cross, not a suggestion that you can ignore.
Leave Some Savings for Emergencies
Don’t dedicate all of your savings to your holiday shopping. You should always leave some wiggle room in your budget. You don’t want to get caught unawares by an emergency expense, like a stalling car engine or a faulty water heater in the house.
You can’t predict what can go wrong, so it’s always smart to be prepared. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to cover an emergency expense, even with your savings, you should consider applying for a line of credit offered through CreditFresh to use as a safety net for small emergencies. With a line of credit, you can request a withdrawal from the account — as long as you have available credit and your account is in good standing — and then deal with repayments later. The funds will be moved into your bank account quickly. You could have them in as soon as a single business day.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Make a List
Just like old Saint Nick, you should make a list. A shopping list will keep you from making impulse purchases and straying from the boundaries of the budget. Stick to what’s written on the list and don’t get anything else.
Block Out the Pressure
Lots of people, especially parents with young children, feel pressured to overspend during the holidays. They feel like they’re disappointing their kids by not giving them everything they could possibly want. Being financially irresponsible isn’t a healthy way to show your affection for your family.
Plus, think of the lessons that you’re imparting to your kids. Wouldn’t you rather show them that money can’t buy happiness? Or that it’s the thought put into a gift that counts? Take a look at the 4 gift rule to see how you can make your whole family happy without setting up unfair expectations and giving yourself money problems.
Don’t Just Focus on Presents
You can make the holiday feel special and exciting without piling things under the tree. So, focus more on experiences than presents. Here are some ideas that could inspire you:
- Plan a Christmas movie marathon with the whole family.
- Get in the competitive spirit and do a board game night.
- Bake, build and decorate a gingerbread house together.
- Prepare Christmas Day breakfast recipes so that you can have a big feast after opening presents.
- Pull out your winter gear and go play in the snow.
Don’t sour your holidays by spending more than you can handle. You can be festive and financially-savvy at the same time.