10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Holiday Spending in Check

Easy ways to keep your holiday spending in check: Overspending during the holidays can leave people feeling anxious and stressed once they return to their everyday lives. If your holiday spending ruins your New Year, it might be time to rethink how to approach the holidays financially.

Some signs of a financial holiday hangover include feeling shame or guilt about purchases. Recovering from one requires honesty, accountability, and compassion.

“The best thing you can do is stay engaged! So many of us get overwhelmed and give up, which is a totally normal human response. The problem is money isn’t something we can avoid figuring out forever. If we can stay engaged, we are in a much better position to recover financially.

10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Holiday Spending in Check

Here are ten easy ways to keep your holiday spending in check this season so you’ll have a  year that’s merry and bright for you and your wallet.

1. Set a limit on whatever you’re spending

One of  the easy ways to keep your holiday spending in check is to stick to your budget and set a limit on whatever you’re spending (gifts, dining) and don’t deviate from it. Pro tip? Use cash for purchases. Once the cash is gone, it’s gone.

2. Create a holiday savings plan

“Having a certain amount of money set aside each month to go toward a holiday account can drastically cut the pain you could feel afterward,” he says. Consider forming a separate savings account for holiday spending and set up automated savings.

3. Consider giving the gift of time

Whether you’re on a fixed income or don’t know what to get for the person that has everything, consider giving the gift of time. This could be babysitting, making someone a home cooked meal or helping with home repair. It’s free of cost for you and full of meaning for the other person.

4. Make a list and check it twice

Once you have your savings in order, create a budget with a dollar amount for every person you plan on shopping for. Avoid the temptation of extra spending by shopping online (and sticking to your list) rather than shopping in person.

5. Make reservations at home

Dining out with friends is wonderful, but it can quickly drain the budget when you consider things like tipping and transportation costs. Some of my fondest (and most affordable) memories with friends have been at home with a bottle of wine and delicious homemade dessert.

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6. Stick to your shopping list

It’s easy to get into debt after the holidays because we start buying gifts for everyone. You get an unexpected gift from a co-worker only to find yourself buying them the obligatory gift in return. Stick to your shopping list. An easy way to save money (especially if you have a big family) is to have everyone draw a name for someone to buy for.

7. Don’t use your credit card!

If part of your debt is due to overusing a credit card, try not to add more to the pile by using it further. Continuing to add debt will not help, especially on credit cards where fees are bound to drown you further down the debt hole. If you know that you’re an impulsive buyer or if there is a certain retail store you love shopping at, try avoiding them since spending is bound to happen if you don’t. Also, refrain from heading to your favorite shopping websites since they’re always running “last minute” or “last day” deals and offers.

8. Create some allowances

We know that going on a budget and living frugally might be too much to ask for some. While we do recommend finding the least expensive option on your everyday spending, we also don’t want you to live on too tight a budget. Review your current spending habits and find ways to cut them back. Create weekly budgets for everything, from food and gas, to personal items that you really don’t need.

9. Stock up and save

Shop for next Christmas the day after Christmas. There are always great post-holiday deals on greeting cards, gift wrap, decorations and party supplies. Savor the savings now to avoid paying full price next year.

10. Avoid the open tab

While grabbing a drink out with friends can be fun, it can be a budget buzzkill. Consider paying as you drink rather than keeping an open tab. It’ll keep you and your money honest on how much you’re really spending.

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