Every year it feels like the holiday season creeps up on us so quickly – and this year has been no exception. With the holiday season in full effect, it is officially time to spend, spend, spend.
It’s so easy to get carried away when buying gifts for your loved ones. But, don’t let the short holiday season throw off your finances for the entire year to come. These 5 holiday shopping tips should help you to stay on target and not exceed your budget (at least by that much).
1. Budget It Is: So…did you guess correctly? Did you assume I was going to say budget first? If so, then you’re off to a good start! Always make sure all of your bills are accounted for in the months that you decide to start your holiday shopping. The “leftovers” should be divvied up between your savings and set aside for your holiday spending.
2. Become an Engineer: Engineers love to know the “ins and outs” of, well, just about everything! So, in true engineer fashion, it’s important to do your research – especially when it comes to pricing. Comparing prices for a particular item could help you save a couple extra bucks – and trust me when I say, those few extra bucks can add up quickly if you do this for all of your bigger ticket items.
3. Set The Limit: One of the best things that I’ve established to help set my holiday spending budget is setting a limit per person. I have certain amounts that I set for each person that I’m purchasing a gift for. You should have a fairly accurate count of people who you’ll be buying gifts for. Take into account your budget and do the math on what you can spend on the amount of people you’re gifting to.
4. Crafty?: Are you the DIY type? Can you create something out of nothing? If you have the knack for it, take a crack at it! A beautiful wall decoration piece that you purchase at the store could be twice as expensive as getting the materials and doing-it-yourself. Plus, a gift made with time and love is more precious than something purchased with money.
5. Keep Track: I’m also guilty of this… Sometimes it’s just hard to not spend a couple dollars past your planned holiday budget for your loved ones. So another rule that I established for myself is to track everything I spend. Tracking and writing everything that you spend on your expenses tracker will help you stay on target and not throw your spending plans out the window.
Although these tips are here to help, only you can control what you do and do not spend. If you do end up spending more or you anticipate spending more, just know that you’ll have to make it up somewhere down the road.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember during the holiday season, is to enjoy your time with your loved ones.
Happy shopping to all!