In November we talked about a developing a Basic Budget. With the holidays in full swing I want to help you stick to your budget. Here are some helpful hints I’ve found help me stay within my holiday budget.
Helpful Hint #1
Frequently remind yourself of your financial goals.
When you are in the giving spirit remember that the people you love don’t want to you stress about finances. Reminding yourself of your financial goals will help you refrain from going into debt. Review your budget and spreadsheets before every holiday shopping trip. When you review your budget before each adventure you can keep a certain spending amount in mind. This will prevent you from going outside that budget. This can also help curb the desire to spend like a mad person.
Helpful Hint #2
Write a list.
Think of everyone you want to buy gifts for and assign an amount to each person. I know this sounds like it takes the fun out of giving, but it’s important. No matter how great the gift is…your loved ones don’t want you going into debt and being stressed for months to follow.
Helpful Hint #3
Use cash when you do your holiday shopping.
It’s really quite simple, when you run out of cash, you run out of money to spend on gifts. This will help you think about each gift you are buying and help you to prioritize.
Helpful Hint #4
Sleep on big purchases.
Give yourself a night to consider and rationalize before buying that new expensive toy. It may seem like the best idea as your looking at in the store, but when you get home and reality sets in you may determine that you kiddo has enough expensive toys or a toys very similar. Or maybe you get home and you can’t stop thinking about this awesome toy. Double check your budget first and make sure you can afford it. You may have to juggle some things around, but if you can make it work by all means go buy that toy.
Helpful Hint #5
Remember that being present is the best present…and it’s free.
Your family and loved ones want you for the holidays. While presents are fun one of the best present you can give someone you love is to spend time with them. Think outside the wrapped box this year and go grab a coffee with a friend or sibling instead of exchanging gifts.
These hints are what keep me from feeling sad and being in debt come January. Believe me; you will be proud of yourself for sticking to a holiday budget. Now when January comes around you will still have some money to buy the sweater you were coveting.