3 Ways to Prepare for Holiday Spending

As the holiday season approaches, panic over increased spending often sets in.  The pressure to buy the perfect gifts, and all the holiday trimmings, can become overwhelming.

Don’t worry – take a deep breath and follow these three tips to help manage debt over the holiday season:

  • Trim your Gift Giving List
  • Manage Holiday Guilt
  • Save year-round for the holidays

Who is on your guest list?

It may be time to trim your holiday gift list.  Assess your list and see where you can cut down spending or come up with creative gift ideas.  If you exchange gifts with friends or co-workers, consider planning an activity or dinner together instead of purchasing expensive gifts.  When purchasing gifts for your boss, teachers, or service providers, find others who can go in on the gift with you.  This way, you can share the expense and get creative.  Creativity is always appreciated!

It’s time to let go of holiday guilt.

Letting go of holiday guilt will help your stress-level, and your budget. Decorations, food, party dresses, charity donations, and clients all eat into your budget during the holiday season. It is wise to remember the holidays are not about the latest decor, the best catering, or that fabulous designer dress – you don’t need to splurge to enjoy yourself. Let go of the need to be perfect and add having fun to your agenda, not the highest price cheese!

Say yes to year-round savings.

When the new year starts, create a fund for your holiday spending. It may seem early, but it is never too early to start managing your finances.  The average person will spend $1500.00 on holiday gifts, and that doesn’t include outings, dinners, parties, charity donations, and extras.  If you save a small sum monthly through the year when the holidays arrive, you will have a reserve fund to draw from, so you don’t end up with a load of debt come January.  Learn more about holiday spending on this infographic – click here.

Creating a budget for the holidays may take some time to set up and get used to, but it will be worth it. And, the best part, in January, you won’t cringe when your credit card bill comes in.  You will smile at all the fun you had and the fact that you are not in debt.  Give yourself a break and set up a savings account for all of your holiday spending. It’s a great way to manage your budget and practice good financial habits.

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