Did you go so far over budget on your holiday spending last year that you didn’t pay off your bills until the Fourth of July? If yes, then today’s blog is definitely for you. We put together a list of some of the best Tips to keep you from overspending this Holiday Season, tips that will definitely reduce your “buyer’s remorse” come 2014. Enjoy.
Tip 1) Definitely use Cash. Old-fashioned? Maybe, but it absolutely will keep you from overspending. Some people use $100 bills when their holiday shopping because, think about it, who likes to break $100 bill?. If you are not keen on carrying around a lot of cash, simply use a debit card so that when it’s empty, you’re done shopping.
Tip 2) Use the best credit card for the job. Basically, purchase your Christmas or a holiday gifts with the credit card you have that has the most favorable terms. As obvious as this sounds the fact is that the average person carries five credit cards in their wallet or purse and usually doesn’t know which one has the best interest rate at any given time. Keep in mind that, with some cards, if you exceed your credit limit or pay it late when the bills start coming in, your interest rate could jump to 30% or even more. Late payments start at $29 apiece on average so you definitely don’t want any of those either.
Tip 3) Make sure you keep a tally of your credit card expenditures. Most credit cards can be seen online and you should definitely take the time to check them every day after your done shopping to make sure that you still have enough “room” to spend more the next time you go out. Doing this will also help you to make sure that, when the bill comes due, you’ll have enough to pay it.
Tip 4) Don’t start shopping without a Plan. If you overspent last year (and felt really bad about it) you’ll need a definite plan to make sure that you don’t overspend again this year, including how much is going to spend on each person, the limit that you have for each one and of course the actual credit limit that you are able to afford when those bills start coming in next year.
Tip 4) Start Early. Some people like to get the “easy” gifts out of the way as early as possible. Small gifts for the babysitter, the mailman and the garbage men are easy to purchase and put aside well before the holiday rush actually starts. The best thing about doing it like this is that those presents won’t actually have to come out of your December shopping budget.
Tip 5) Keep in mind that Gifts don’t buy Happiness or Love. Here’s the thing; some people overspend because they feel “bad” about not getting their children, their spouse or other family members exactly what they want. These days however, everyone is cutting back and trying to budget because, frankly, we all need to. While some might be slightly disappointed, unless they already weren’t very fond of you, the fact that you didn’t get them exactly what they wanted isn’t going to change their feelings for you (at least not for long).
Tip 6) Get creative. For example, if you have a trip planned to Disneyland over the Christmas break, fill their stockings with things like Disney memorabilia, guidebooks and maps. They’ll get the pleasure of seeing all of those awesome Disney delights and you’ll save money on presents at the same time. You can do this for practically anything if you get a little creative.
Tip 7) Start Saving for next year now. One of the best ways to make sure that you don’t overspend on the holidays is to have enough money saved up to pay for them. Start a holiday savings account or fill up a large jar with change during the year. It might sound silly but, if you save $10 in change a week, that’s $500 extra you’ll have to spend next year.
Those are 7 excellent Tips for saving money this Holiday Season. We hope they have inspired you to think “outside of the Christmas box” and will help you to stay out of the financial doghouse come January. Happy Holidays.