The holidays are supposed to be a time to enjoy your friends and family and to celebrate the festive season with fun family traditions. Over the years, however, the holiday season has become increasingly commercialized and today people face immense pressure to spend a lot of money on food, decorations and gifts.
All of this spending has made the holidays a really stressful time for some, as they are concerned about how they are going to get through the season and get everything they need. Fortunately, there are ways to make sure that your holiday merriment doesn’t break the budget and that you don’t disappoint any of the loved ones in your life.
Tips for Holiday Spending the Smart Way
Here are a few tips to make sure that you have the money you need to get all of your holiday shopping taken care of:
- Start with a list. You should make a detailed list of all of the things that you need to buy so you can budget for them and won’t be hit with any unexpected surprises when it gets close to the holidays. Be sure to include presents, food, decorations, cards and any other things that you buy around the festive season. Martha Stewart provides some holiday checklists in different categories for different holidays, and you can print those checklists to help you to remember the things that you need to get done.
- Establish a budget. You should set a budget for how much you want to spend on each of the different categories of things that you need to get over the holidays. While it may be hard to make an exact prediction for what you will spend in each of your categories (like food, décor, etc.), you can look back at what you have spent in previous years to get some idea of what your expenses will be. You can also think about how much money you have available to devote to holiday spending and about how you want to divide up those funds. This way, you can set gift budgets for the people you want to buy for and make sure you don’t blow all of your cash on the first gifts you need to buy and not have enough left over to take care of the rest of your costs.
- Consider lower-cost solutions. Instead of having everyone in your family exchange gifts, maybe it is time to do a Secret Santa gift exchange or another kind of gift game that doesn’t involve buying a present for everyone. Many people would prefer to avoid the pressure of giving a gift to everyone, so if you think your family is likely to be receptive to this idea, don’t hesitate to bring it up.
- Save throughout the year. Yahoo Voices provides some tips on how you can save money for Christmas throughout the entire year. No matter what holiday you celebrate, you know when it is coming and you don’t have to wait until the very last minute to start putting aside money for it. If you save a little bit of money each week or each month throughout the year, you will have plenty of cash available to you and you won’t be scrambling to find a way to pay at the holiday time.
- Choose creative alternatives. You don’t have to give an expensive gift to everyone on your list in order to make them happy. Think about things that you can make yourself or that you can offer and that people will enjoy even if they don’t cost a fortune. For example, if you have friends who are new parents, they might appreciate the gift of a night of babysitting so that they can go out and get a break from their parenting duties. There are plenty of ways to make people feel happy and loved without getting lavish presents.
- Explore financing and borrowing options. If you need a little money to get you through the holidays, explore the different solutions that you have available to you to chose the right one. TitleMax.biz provides some important information on how to take holiday loans that are available even to people with bad credit.
By following these tips, you can have a festive and happy holiday time and not be stressed about money throughout the entire season. Less stress equals more fun celebrating with your family. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Chloe Danielle knows how to budget out her money. In fact, she’s so good at it that she makes a living helping others do the same. If there’s one thing she can’t stand, it’s when people are backed into a financial corner. Need help? Read her articles!