It is that time of year again, where we all come together to celebrate Christmas. Whether it is with family, office parties or Christmas Eve services at your local church, Christmas is a wonderful time of year. There are Christmas lights, pictures with Santa, long trips to see grandma and grandpa that make Christmas a special time of year. However after Christmas, we can have a “bah-hum bug” attitude because we over spent on Christmas. Well what if this year you had a game plan on your Christmas spending so you can end the holidays feeling jolly and not guilty? Here’s how.
Have you ever went to the grocery store to buy a few things and came out with a cart load of stuff? That is what will happen if you do not have a Christmas list prepared and wonder around the malls for your Christmas shopping. You will end up buying way more than you ever intended. Make a list (and check it twice), then execute.
Other quick tips are:
- Use cash – Studies show when you spend with cash it neurologically registers as pain. When you use plastic your spending will go up an average of 12-18%.
- Do not buy for everybody – You do not need to buy for all your friends and everyone else that you know. Keep Christmas simple by only buying gifts for those in your immediate family and really close friends
- Do not fall for the discount at all department stores by signing up for their credit card – Department stores will do anything they can to get you to own one of their credit cards. Simply tell them that you believe in paying for things with cash ONLY and would like to get the discount anyway. You will be surprised at the number of times they will give you the discount anyway.
- Keep your Christmas spending in check with your overall budget – It is not worth spending $1,200 on Christmas and wonder how you are going to keep the lights on and gas in your car. Determine an amount that will safely get you through the holidays without wondering how you are going to pay the bills.
Maybe you have already spent money this Christmas and feel like you went overboard. One way to keep that from happening year after year is to start saving now. Example: Let’s say you spend $600 on average for Christmas every year. Every month take $50 and save it back (savings account, coffee can, and envelope) and then when you go shopping next year you will have self-funded your own Christmas spending account. This will have you feeling great after your Christmas spending this year.