10 Ways to Avoid Overspending This Festive Season. This is the time for traveling, buying gifts, buying new clothes, buying groceries in bulk, partying and just be merry. Having noted that though, we ought to remember though is that, the festive period is only two weeks. We still have the whole year ahead of us, so spending wisely is the smartest way to go.
1. Create A Realistic Budget
Before you start any holiday shopping, it’s important to take the time to create a detailed budget for your holiday expenses. Include gifts, decorations, travel and any other potential costs. Having a clear spending plan will help you stay on track and avoid impulsive purchases, which, in turn, saves you from the pitfalls of overspending.
2. Set Holiday Spending Limits
Give your credit card and your mind a holiday by limiting what you buy to what can safely come out of your bank account. Use this opportunity to create or get your budget into fighting shape, and use it to decide how much money you can afford to spend.
3. Make A List
There are a lot of benefits from making a shopping list during the holidays. Before hitting the stores or going online, create a list of the gifts you need to buy. This will help you stay focused and avoid the temptation of spending money on unnecessary items.
4. Get Your Shopping Done Early
Each year, the holiday shopping season seems to start sooner and sooner. Some retailers start holiday sales in September. Early shoppers have the advantage of the best selections of merchandise. Consider making “big ticket” purchases such as appliances and electronics when the prices are low. Typically, retailers drop prices a few months before the holidays, then again right after the holiday season ends. If you missed the big sale this year, you might be better off waiting.
5. Use Cash, Not Credit Cards
If you’re likely to overspend, using cash over a credit card might be better. Cash is more tangible than credit, and it’s easier to stick to a cash budget vs. the potential of overspending on credit. However, if you use credit cards to your advantage during the holiday season, you can earn cash back and rewards to add more value to your holiday spending. Just be careful to only spend what you can afford to repay.
6. Take Advantage of Discounts
It can also help to keep an eye out for sales, discounts and cash-back offers both in-store and online. Many retailers offer special promotions during the holiday season, and taking advantage of these can lead to significant savings. You may also benefit from using cash-back apps or credit cards that offer rewards to maximize your savings.
7. Consider DIY Gifts
Another option is to get creative and consider making some of your gifts. Handmade gifts not only add a personal touch but can also be more affordable than store-bought items, which helps you to avoid overspending. Whether it’s a homemade candle, a knitted scarf or a batch of delicious cookies, DIY gifts can be both thoughtful and budget-friendly.
8. Do Secret Santa or Gift Exchanges
If you have a large family or group of friends, suggest doing a Secret Santa or gift exchange rather than buying a gift for every person. This way, each person only has to buy one gift, reducing the overall financial burden for everyone involved.
9. Take Stock of Existing Resources
Before embarking on your holiday spending, gather up all your existing resources. It’s easy to forget what you already have on hand since it’s likely been an entire year since you used them. You’ll need extra items if you’re doing something special this year, like hosting the family get-together. But instead of buying more stuff, consider borrowing essentials from friends and family.
10. Realize You Don’t Have to Outdo Yourself
The pressure to outdo yourself with holiday shopping every year can be stressful and budget-busting. Social media makes it even harder, with high expectations set by friends, family, acquaintances or influencers. But there’s no need to outdo yourself or live up to unrealistic expectations; in the end, no one who cares about you wants to put you in a bad financial position.