The cold weather is here, and the holidays are following closely behind! It is easy to get caught in the holiday spirit and go overboard when it comes to spending. Investopedia states, “According to a Gallup study, American adults projected to spend approximately $920 on gifts per person, up from $885 per person last year, with total holiday spending exceeding $1 trillion nationwide.” There are several ways you can enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank.
Make A Plan
Going into the holidays with a plan as to how much you will spend this season can help you stay on track. You should consider expenses such as gifts, food, and travel when developing your plan. If you have several people you are planning on giving gifts, decide what you are getting them early in the season. This way you can be on the lookout for sales. Having a plan can help you stay organized and on budget.
Track Your Spending
Your budget is useless if you do not track your spending. You can keep track of spending in Excel worksheets and even apps on your phone! One way to help ensure you are staying aligned with your budget is to pay with cash. While this may be more work as far as recording and keeping up with how your money is spent, having a specific amount based on what you need can help your purchases don’t get out of control.
Look for Cheaper Alternatives
There are several ways you can reduce expenses during the holidays. If you enjoy sending Christmas cards, consider sending an e-card. This will cut postage and printing costs while still allowing your loved ones to see your family. If you have big dinners coming up, make it a potluck. This will reduce pressure on the host while also reducing how much you spend. Cutting back on everyday expenses, such as mocha lattes, can also lead to some serious savings.
The holidays can be a stressful time for various reasons, but finances does not have to be one of them. By planning, tracking spending, and saving money where you can, you can enjoy your holidays and the reason for the season.