Tips to help avoid unnecessary holiday spending
It is Christmas and new year holidays and this is the time for spending, actually, it’s time to remember your friends and family in a special way, the time to say thank you to those who saw you through tough and rough but went ahead to return their endless sacrifices towards you.
We have to go visit our family back to the rural, visit friends, hold parties and family get together; these were intentionally pushed to December due to unavoidable situations. We have to take our families for holidays, the children worked so hard to get the 400 marks which daddy promised will earn them a visit to the game park, and daddy here has no option but to honor his promise.
It is all about spending, spending and spending. Yes, some had saved for this but many like me have just been caught in this spending madness and have no option but to spend.
Unfortunately, however, when the calendar turns to January, the negative effects of this spending begin to set in, tighter finances than imagined and regret over the amount of money spent creeps in. Knowing life will not stop because you have no money to use for the important issues arising come January, calls for a way to know how to go about this spending to avoid the headaches that will follow.
Here are some tips to help you usher in the New Year with the same smile that was there during the festive season.
Set a budget
Setting a budget and sticking to it, is the most important tip to avoid overspending this holiday season. By setting a budget of how much you intend to spend, you can stick to choosing less expensive items that are as good and will be appreciated and useful.
Make a list
Before you hit the supermarket, make a set list of who you will be shopping for and what you will be getting them for. Limit it to the people who are the most important in your life. Nail down your list before you start shopping and avoid adding people to it as you shop.
Go for discounted items
Discounted items are one of the best little-known ways of saving money when shopping. Whether you’re purchasing food, gifts or decorations, you can pick up discounted things and save.
Focus on thoughtful giving
When it comes to appreciating a gift, the old adage ‘It’s the thought that counts’ really does hold truth. Take some time to really think about what the people on your gift list would enjoy. Spending a lot of money on a gift doesn’t necessarily make it a good gift, but if the recipient will like it.
Get creative with celebrations
Come up with simple creative ways to make your celebrations memorable. You can have a dinner party where each person brings their favorite holiday dish and all people enjoy the dishes together. It’s easier, cheaper, and probably more fun!
Self-gifting means people treating themselves to presents when they are out shopping for others. The urge to get yourself an attractive item you come across when shopping is always irresistible. To avoid overspending this holiday season, limit yourself in this manner.
Look for ways to make travel cheaper
For some families, one of the largest expenses of the holiday season is travel – this is certainly true for most families travelling to the rural areas or visiting family in other places. Being together as a family to celebrate the season is important to many. While there are always going to be expenses incurred while traveling, we can still look for ways to limit them: book the bus early enough, pack light to avoid paying for the luggage, use trusted means; choose a bus that will not leave you on the way before you reach your destination, for boarding another one shall cost you more.
Shop early enough
Avoid waiting until the last minute to shop so you’ll have time to visit more than one shop, compare prices and take advantage of sales. You are more likely to feel pressured to buy something that is too expensive or not on sale if you wait until the last minute to start looking.
Make your own gifts
Give some homemade gifts, such as cakes, cookies, handmade gift cards or even cloths.
Take a trip to the shops without your wallet and do some window-shopping
Not having any money to spend will allow you to look at things subjectively instead of buying the first great item you see. While you are there, make a list of what caught your eye and how much each item cost. This allows you to narrow down your list even more and avoid unnecessary spending.
Make your shopping time minimal
Using less time to do the shopping say an hour or two will reduce the amount of time you have to make impulsive purchases you will later on regret.
Keep in mind that the efforts you make to lessen your holiday spending now will free up more cash for the coming year. When your holiday bank statements arrive in the New Year, you’ll find yourself singing “Joy to the World” all over again.
Happy holidays! Stay safe.