It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is here once again. Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or anything in between that you celebrate, it’s the time of year where people relax and spend some quality time with loved ones. It’s also a time when people tend to overspend. Many people recognize the holiday season as a time of joy, merriment, and giving. People love to give presents to friends and family, cook spectacular meals, drink delicious wines and spirits — it’s sort of like a month-long party, and everyone you know is invited.
However, once January second rolls around, you slowly emerge from all the festive ceremonies, slightly hung-over and bewildered. The reality sets in as soon as you check your bank account and realize that the party’s over. You spent significantly more than you wanted. This year, avoid that dreaded feeling by avoiding unnecessary overspending.
It’s much easier than you might think. You can still have fun without spending a small fortune this holiday, and here’s how.
Here are 3 Ways to Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season
1. Slim Down Your List
One of the best ways to save money this year is by cutting down your holiday gift list. Select a couple of people closest to you to exchange presents with, and drop everyone else. No law states you have to get a present for all your friends, let alone that guy who cleans your windows every six months. It’s also a good idea to arrange for strict spending limits with those you are exchanging gifts with this year. Most people would be more than happy to set a lower limit than a high one, so don’t worry about bringing up the subject.
2. Use Coupons and Flyers
To save big this season, find the best deals with coupons and flyers. Are you preparing the holiday dinner this year, or will you entertain loved ones throughout the next few weeks? Those grocery store bills add up fast. You’ll want to look for the most up-to-date prices by paying close attention to the No Frills flyers and deals from your other supermarket favorites. Find an online shopping directory that posts the hottest flyers with the best coupons so you can easily find out what’s on sale and which grocery store to scour for your upcoming festive dinner party. Supermarkets always offer great deals this time of year, so start saving those coupon codes.
3. Set Realistic Spending Limits
Take a look through your recent financial statements and determine the absolute limit for you to spend this season. Create a document outlining what you need for the holidays — for example, gifts for the kids and a few close loved ones, groceries for the holiday dinner — and allocate specific dollar amounts for each category. Don’t forget to include bills, the amount of your rent or mortgage, and other necessary expenses in the document. Such an exercise might be alarming at first, but it will provide you with a realistic holiday budget.
If you make a conscious effort to spend wisely this season, you’ll have a much better time relaxing because you’ll have peace of mind, knowing that you can still celebrate the festivities while having money in the bank.