How To Manage Your Spending Over The Holidays
Holidays is a time for celebration and family get-togethers. It is also a time when expenses are high. There are gifts that need to be purchased and dinners that need to be organised. During this time, it can help to be savvy with your spending instead of going on an unchained shopping spree.
Here are a few tips that can help you manage your expenses and save some money this holiday season:
1. Decide your budget
Decide upfront how much you are willing to spend. This is probably the oldest yet the most ignored financial advice. Make a list of purchases you need to make and how much you can afford to spend for each. Take a couple of days to revise or add to the list, taking care to exclude unnecessary items. Come weekend, you should have an almost complete list in your hands.
2. Do some research
In case you are planning costly gifts for your immediately family, read online product reviews to make sure the product is worth its cost. Also, check the price of the product in online stores. Some products are available at better rates online versus your local stores. And most online retailers also provide free shipping.
3. Make as few shopping trips as possible
Making a shopping list beforehand helps you to cover as many purchases as possible in a single trip. This lets you limit the number of shopping trips which in turn limits the number of “extra” items you pick up on each trip.
4. Take advantage of store discounts and coupons
During the holidays, many big retailers offer discounts. Take advantage of such discounts and coupons to save money on your gifts. This is also a great time to use reward points from your credit cards and other sources.
5. Track your expenses
Don't forget to track how much money you spend each time you shop and check where you stand with respect to your budget. This will help you to know when you are reaching your limit and need to tighten your purse strings.
6. DIY gifts
Not every gift needs to be store bought. Hand made gifts like cards, tote bags, cakes or a box of cookies also make great gifts apart from being inexpensive. Christmas is certainly a time for giving. With a little bit of planning, some budgeting and smart gifting, you can spread joy around without hurting your finances.