Holiday time is fun. You get invited to a ton of parties, bond with your loved ones, and receive countless gifts. It is the time to spend on your loved ones in a bid to express how much you care about them. But before you do so, here is something you need to know.
Many people spend the first quarter of the year in counseling as they come to terms with their financial hits. More often than not, these hard economic times are a result of overspending during the holidays. While gifting people is not bad, you need to keep an eye on your expenditure.
Once in a while, you could splurge and get a loved one a rose dipped in gold, which they would appreciate. But not everyone can get such a gift. And you may not afford it each year.
Here are some ways to keep track of your spending to avoid hard financial times in the New Year:
Create a List
The first thing you need to do is to come up with a list of the people you wish to gift. You might find that there are more people on your list than you can afford.
In this case, you could remove some of the names and remain with those you hold dearest. Family first followed by friends, then the rest can follow if you can afford it.
Feeling obligated is the first step towards overspending, so keep an eye on this.
Have a Limit
Emotions often reign the gift-buying process. You will walk into a store, hoping to spend a hundred dollars. On seeing something that a loved one would appreciate, you might up this limit to a hundred and fifty.
Have a set limit. Suppose you can spend two hundred dollars on gifts this year, stick to that. Maybe you could spend a hundred dollars on your parents, twenty on your sibling, thirty on your friends, and fifty on your significant other.
In this way, you will not end up wondering how you will come up with rent come January.
Credit cards are great. You walk into a store, grab what you want, and the card takes care of everything else. While this may seem convenient, it is an easy way to get into debt.
If you come across something worth a hundred dollars and your budget was seventy, you can use the card to get it. In the end, you find that you have gone above the set budget. An easy way to avoid temptation would be to use cash.
Have the seventy dollars in hand, and you will avoid using that card. When January comes, and you don’t need to sell your things to make ends meet, you will be happy you used cash.
Embrace Shopping Solo
When you are with friends, you are likely to spend a lot of money. For one, you will end up viewing more items than you had initially intended.
Secondly, there is the aspect of peer pressure. Monica is getting things worth five hundred dollars, yet your budget is a hundred.
You don’t want to look like you are struggling with finances, so you end up buying goods worth two hundred dollars.
Third, your friends could have poor money habits because they live for today, and tomorrow will take care of itself.
Whatever the reason behind going over budget, avoid it. And the best way to do this is by going shopping solo.
Look for Discounts
Actively searching for discounts will reduce the money you spend on gifts. If you come across a sale, be sure to take advantage of it.
Also, compare prices to see which company has the best offer. You could end up saving enough money to add another person to your list.