While it may be tempting to spend lavishly on holiday gifts, it’s best to avoid the risk of running into debt or spending too much money. The pressure to spend is intense, but no amount of gift-giving, travelling, or partying is worth the financial hangover that follows.
If you have a plan, a budget and some creativity and a savings account specifically for holiday spending—you can have fun and save money during the holidays. And, if you shop around and make sure to find the best deals, you can give memorable gifts that won’t put a dent in your wallet.
If you have trouble keeping track of your expenses, it is a good idea to have a separate account that will keep track of exactly how much you have spent and how much you have saved during the holidays. Additionally, you can follow some money hacks that will show you how to save money by tracking transactions and unnecessary expenses. Because of this, it may be best to look at digital banking options, which are the most detailed way to track your money.
When you’re tempted to spend your hard-earned money on an overpriced, idealised experience, consider these suggestions.
Make a Holiday Budget Ahead of Time
Unfortunately, about four out of every ten Americans will use a credit card to pay for holiday gifts, but you want to avoid this. That’s why, ideally, you would start putting money aside for holiday expenditures in January and accumulate a sum by the end of October.
Whether you draw on your savings account to cover holiday expenses or charge them to a credit card, you may want to set a predetermined spending budget before the holiday season begins. The National Retail Federation predicts that the average amount Americans will spend on seasonal items this year will be $1,048.
Setting a holiday budget means figuring out how much you can spend each month, on average, and then figuring out how much you can spend at once. Your holiday spending budget is whatever money is left after accounting for your fixed expenses and true expenses.
Ensure Your Budget Is Realistic
It helps to create a plan and make a list of your expected holiday expenses when you begin saving ahead of the holidays. Be sure to take into account the additional expenses incurred during the holidays: gifts for friends and family, holiday food, wrapping paper, travelling expenses, charitable donations, etc.
It’s a good idea to make a holiday shopping list that includes all of your expenses as well as gift ideas within a set budget. For each person you are giving a gift to, you should have one or two suggestions.
After you figure out your income and expenses for the year, you can decide how much you will have available for holiday expenses. During the gift-giving season, you need to determine how much money you have left over to spend after deducting all of your fixed expenses.
Offer DIY Gifts
Giving a homemade gift like a cake or a candle can be just as impressive as an expensive bottle of wine and allows you to still show your appreciation during the holidays without breaking the bank. You can save money by baking cookies or cakes. If you like to craft, you might want to consider making your own jewellery or pottery as Christmas gifts for friends, too.
Collaging photos of family and friends can be a meaningful gift that reflects a moment in time. The gift of a photo collage with memorable photos taken throughout the year is something someone will cherish for years to come.
Keep Your Decorations Simple
If you want to decorate for the holidays, keep your decorations to a minimum. Focus on two or three areas that will show up in pictures or influence guests most. In some cases, you can save money by keeping your decorations in just a few areas, for example, the living room.
You can use recycled comic book pages or old maps instead of traditional wrapping paper. This will make gift wrapping a family-fun activity rather than a chore. For a fun, family-friendly craft project that saves money, helps children create homemade cards or send electronic cards instead of traditional holiday greeting cards.
When spending money during the holiday season, remember that it is more important to spend time with friends and family than it is to spend money on gifts. You don’t have to feel bad when you choose not to go deeply into debt. Instead, simplify your life and enjoy your family.
Consider giving gifts that others will remember for sentiment rather than monetary value, and you won’t regret your spending long after the holiday season is over.