The holidays are the times of the generosity of gift-giving, but over-spending on holiday gifts becomes a harsh reality when the credit card bill comes in the mail. With that said, remember to plan ahead.
Take into consideration these holiday spending tips during this year’s season of giving:
Pay cash whenever possible–Beware of buying everything on credit
First and foremost, avoid buying too many gifts on credit. Save bit by bit throughout the year, possibly using a holiday club account, so you can splurge your savings on gifts for the whole family, or travel home for the holidays. By spending money that you actually have, you avoid all the stress that comes with pesky holiday bills stacked with interest, and you won’t be paying off a $100 gift 10 years from now.
Don’t spend beyond your means
Before you go buying extravagant gifts, examine the real reason for your giving. Is it merely to outdo another, or to reciprocate a gift that was given in a certain price range? Remember that love has no sticker price, and as cliché as it sounds, it really is the thought that counts. Don’t spend beyond your means out of a false sense of obligation or a desire to impress; it’s simply not worth it.
Kid’s can’t always have what they want–Create a budget for each child
As a parent, it can be difficult to temper the wants of children. Consider creating a budget for each child, and then discipline yourself to stick to it. Utilize the holiday season to teach your children a lesson about the true meaning behind giving—that the thoughtfulness behind gifts matters more than their material value.
Keep track of how much your spending
After each holiday season, you should track exactly how much you spent and review your budget for the next holiday. That way, you can prepare more effectively for your gift giving and/or travel arrangements.