The holiday season is festive and fun. Millions of people are making plans to celebrate the holidays with their family and friends. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the festivities. Many people will spend money on last-minute purchases. Fancy dinners, gift swaps and holiday decor are some of the most common holiday purchases. Every year, consumers are expected to spend copious amounts of money on expensive gifts. Not surprisingly, many people swipe their debit card without thinking about what is happening to their bank account. Most Americans spent more than $1000 on gifts last year. They are still paying off the debt in 2017. You can enjoy the holidays without draining your bank account.
1. Preplan Your Shopping Trips
If you have several people on your shopping list, shopping without a plan might hurt your bank account. You want to buy clothes and gadgets, but you do not want to go over your budget. Make a list of gifts for everyone on your shopping list. Determine how much you can spend. When you give yourself a spending limit, you will not waste money on impulse purchases. Do not buy all the gifts at one store. Research prices and look for sales. Stick to your budget. A few extra gifts might not seem like much, but the extra money could be spent on your bills.
2. Do Not Use Your Credit Card
Credit cards are convenient, but they can keep you in a financial sinkhole. Stick to your allotted budget. If you pay for the gifts with a credit card, you will have to pay interest every month. Pay for the gifts with your debit card to stay within your spending limit. For added protection, you can select the credit option when you swipe your debit card.
3. Leave Your Credit Cards at Home
Do not consider your credit card spending limit when you are making your holiday shopping list. It is easy to not care about spending an extra $100 when you have a high credit limit. You need to spend wisely during the holidays. Do not use more than 30 percent of your available credit.
4. Do Not Buy Yourself Any Gifts
Do not shop for yourself. When you are shopping for everyone on your list, you might want to buy yourself a nice gift. You deserve nice gifts, but you should shop for yourself after the holiday season. Your gift will be a nice reward. If you have a long shopping list, you might need a few weeks to recover from the holiday cheer. The stores will be less crowded in January. You will also have a higher bank balance. In addition to the stores being less crowded, they will also have more sales. Retailers need to get rid of their excess merchandise at the beginning of a new year. If there is an item you wanted, and it was not in stock a few weeks ago, the retailer might have ordered more of the product.
5. Give Creative Gifts
You do not have to buy everyone on your list an expensive gift. Stocking stuffers are great gifts. You can buy stocking stuffers, or you can make your own crafts. Instead of buying expensive gifts, you can give candles, soaps and baked goodies. Most people would prefer a bar of scented soap over a miniature grooming set.
6. Suggest Inexpensive Alternatives
You may not need to buy individual gifts for everyone on your list. For example, instead of getting gifts for all of your extended family, give them a family gift. You can give them gift certificates to grocery stores. If you have a gift exchange at your office, ask your boss about donating to a charity. Your children might have specific requests, but anyone outside of your inner circle should appreciate any gift you give them.
These are just a few ways you can spend less money during the holidays. If you want to save even more money, you should only buy gifts for your closest family and friends. You can send your extended family a holiday card. Food is cheaper than gadgets, and pies are always great gifts.
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