One of the fastest ways people get overwhelmed during the holidays is by
overspending. Being financially unprepared for the holiday season leads to bad habits
and poor choices that have serious repercussions at the beginning of the new year.
Holiday spending is more than buying gifts, it’s usually a bunch of small things that add
up. Things like
Money leaking out here and there for expenses you don’t have any other time of year
adds up and can cause debt or overspending. Stress starts building up with each
purchase and what should be a fun time of year starts to feel overwhelming.
You don’t have to overspend or go into debt trying to make the holidays magical. Pay
attention to these dos and don’ts to help keep your financial health during the holidays.
DO- Create a holiday budget before the holidays start– Every year is different. Some
years there are more resources for the holidays and some years are lean. Making a
budget before the holidays based on your current financial situation. Keep to your
budget to help prevent overspending.
DO- Find fun and unique ways to make some extra cash– Host an annual yard sale
or offer a side hustle that brings in some extra cash each year. Finding fun ways to
make more money helps you cover the extra costs you have during the holiday season.
Enlist the family and encourage them to earn some extra cash that they can use for
buying gifts or personal items during the season.
DO- Cherry pick your holiday must-haves before spending– There are unlimited
ways to spend during the holidays. Everything associated with the holidays is bright and
shiny and can make impulse buying hard to avoid. Be decisive about what matters most
to you during the season and focus your attention and your dollars on those items and
activities and leave the rest for someone else to enjoy.
DON’T- Worry about what other people do– It’s an age-old concept but still rings true.
You shouldn’t worry about what your neighbors are doing. You don’t need to keep up
with anyone else nor be influenced by their spending. Focus on your family and what
makes sense for your unique needs during the holidays.
DON’T- Forget the benefits of getting ahead of the game– Procrastination can cause
overspending. Don’t put off tasks like food shopping or other errands that dig into your
budget. The earlier you take care of things the easier you can find deals and be more
relaxed. An example could be purchasing all of your non-perishable food items for all
holiday meals in one early shopping trip. This gets the task out of the way and frees up
time during the rest of the season.
DON’T- Allow guilt to make you overspend– It’s hard to say no when you want to say
yes. Financially, it may not be possible to do everything without going into debt or
making a poor financial decision. Don’t allow guilt to drive you. The holidays magnify
certain feelings. Set healthy limits that keep your finances under control and don’t feel
guilty for being smart with your money.
Spending can be at an all-time high during the holidays. There are a lot of expenses
that come with celebrating which have the potential to strain your budget. Don’t let the
holidays cost you your happiness, sanity, or more. Keep your spending in perspective
and enjoy a happy and financially healthy season.