Budgeting During The Holidays

The holidays can be hard emotionally, but they’re even harder financially. We all want to spread the holiday cheer, but if you’re in debt you could have a hard time parting with your dough. Not to worry! There are plenty of ways to cut back, even during Christmas. Follow these tips to stay in the green this season.

Make a budget

There are a surprising amount of people out there who spend during the holidays, without ever making a fixed budget. Plan your budget before beginning your holiday shopping and stick to it.

Skip the plastic

Pay cash and try to stay away from spending anything on your credit card. It’s easier to go over budget when using your credit card. Just leave the card at home.

Remain shop-savvy

During the holidays, it’s easy to get swept away by sales gimmicks. Instead of looking at a sale and emphasizing the amount you could potentially save off of an item, take a long, hard look at the actual price.

Start shopping in advance

It may be a little late for this one, but really try to start your shopping early. This will give you more time to find great prices on gifts.

Reuse holiday supplies

Recycle your old wrapping paper, bags, and boxes rather than buying new. Take good care of your holiday lights so that you don’t have to go out and buy a whole new strand.

Cut back on eating out

Scrimp where you can by spending December in the kitchen rather than at a restaurant. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save by giving up this expensive habit.

Buy for others, not for yourself

Have you ever been shopping for someone else, only to come home with something for yourself, too? As hard as it is, resist the urge to shop for yourself. The season is about giving to others, not buying for yourself.

Give without spending

It’s easy to think of Christmas or other holidays as consumerism-driven and financially exhausting. But, bottom line, Christmas is not about spending money. You can easily give to others without dropping a dime. House-sit for a neighbor, make Christmas cookies for the people at work, or simply send an e-card to an old friend. These small acts of kindness will put a smile on people’s faces and help to remind you that giving doesn’t have to cost a dime.