3 Simple Tips to Control Holiday Spending
They say, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, but for many this represents a time of overspending followed by remorse and hardship in the New Year. Especially in a year like 2020 the desire to go above and beyond is strong and there is something to be said for the immediate rush of buying something. Yet we need to realize that this rush is short lived, while the credit card payments could be long lasting. So as an early holiday gift, here are 3 Simple Tips to help control that holiday spending.
- Have a Budget!
Given my last post, this should surprise no one. A budget is the first step to controlling spending. It forces you to decide how much you can afford to begin with. However, you need to not just budget for gifts. Budgeting for food, entertainment, beverages, nights out, holiday cards, and more should all be in your overall holiday budget. When you look at everything together, you may find you have to trim some gift giving if you want to trim the Christmas tree too.
- Separate Shopping from Buying
When we hear, “go shopping” we are really thinking “go buying”. The expectation of a shopping trip is usually that you’ll return with something, but this can lead to you spending more than you wanted or buying something you didn’t really mean to get. Instead, do your shopping and buying on two different occasions, whether online or in stores. That way you can look at everything you would like to get, compare it to your budget, and then go back and buy. Of course, while you’re buying you should…
- Stick to Your List
Remember, your shopping is done. You are a person on a mission. If something is sold out, it’s not the end of the world. Also, hold back the urge to add people or things to your list, that step is passed. Skip any sold out or out of stock items and head on back to Tip 1. Then wash rinse and repeat until you have everything you’re supposed to.
“It’s that simple!” I say with a smile. But notice I didn’t say easy. Like roasting the perfect turkey or aging fine whiskey, the process is simple, but never easy. This is a time of year when the pressure to over buy and consume can be high. I hope these tips can help you resist those urges; you’ll be happy you did!
If you would like more handy financial tips or want to talk about your specific financial situation, contact me. And in the meantime, I wish you all a very happy holiday season!