Every year, millions of families drastically overspend on gifts during the Christmas season. Due to a wide variety of reasons, many families enter into the early parts of the next year regretting Christmas altogether. Credit card bills start coming in, and utility bills have to be juggled, all because of the Christmas splurge.
This year, things can be different. By following a few simple steps, this Christmas can not only be the best Christmas ever, it can also be the most affordable Christmas ever. Is there anything better than giving the perfect gift and not having to regret it?
Plan in advance
You know your friends and family well. Don’t just go look for something to get them for Christmas. Spend some time thinking about them. Don’t just think about what they would like. Think about who they are and what they love. Many times, we can get someone a much better gift by spending less money. Get them something that shows you really know who they are and that you care. Only you know what that thing is and it’s going to take a little time to come up with it, but it will be well worth it.
Do your research
Christmas time is a time of year to find some great sales, but it’s also a time of year where a lot of people get ripped off. Don’t let yourself be the person paying more than you should on a gift. Do your research and study sales. Be willing to wake up early or shop were you normally don’t to get the best price. Look online as well as in stores. It may take a bit more time to shop right, but it will save you a lot of stress on the back end.
Make a list and stick to it
After you have put time and energy into coming up with your ideas, it’s time to make a list and stick to it. Your list needs to not only include what you are buying, it needs to include where you are buying it and what you expect to pay. Do not allow for any wiggle room. Spending away from your list is what causes financial troubles.
Procrastination is one of the biggest reasons people overspend during the holidays. Instead of spending smartly and buying the gift in advance, they dash out at the last possible second and pay whatever is being asked for the product. This is also one of the biggest causes of bad gifts.
Use the “B” word
I saved this tip for last because a lot of people stop reading articles after they see a curse word. If you are going to be successful at keeping the holiday spending in line, you are going to need a budget. Not just a regular budget though. You need a bullet proof budget. The only way to accomplish this is to get rid of the plastic and use cash. Get an envelope for your Christmas money and only use what is in that envelope. Take away the option of overspending. You will be glad you did later.
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