The holiday season was never meant to be stressful. But all too often, holidays become more about overspending and less about having a wonderful time with loved ones.
Try to keep your loved ones happy and finances bright during the holidays. With parties, holiday gifts, and vacation, it’s easy to break your budget during the holiday season. But if you’re careful and follow the below-given tips, you can keep your wallet happy on holidays.
5 Financial tips for holidays
Here are a few tips you can use to survive holidays without pinching your wallet.
1. Create a holiday budget: Review your monthly income and expenses. Decide how much you can afford to spend on holidays gifts, decor, food, and parties. Create a list and allocate a particular amount for each item on the list. This may help you enjoy the holiday as per your means.
2. Check your shopping list twice: Love can be dangerous when it comes to money since heart doesn’t know how to make complex calculations. The heart doesn’t understand money or budgeting. It only understands the language of love and romance.
Listen to your mind on holidays. Be rational. You can’t give gifts to everyone. You earn a specific amount every month and it’s your responsibility to take care of the daily needs of your family members throughout the year.
Pare down your list of gift recipients this year. Buy gifts only for your close friends and relatives. Think about the gifts you can afford to buy and list them on a piece of paper. Don’t buy expensive gifts. Be reasonable.
Check your shopping list twice to find out if you can strike out any name from it. The more, the merrier concept is not applicable here.
3. Make additional money: Holiday season is a great time to make money. I have never done mystery shopping but I know many people who have earned money or free meals through mystery shopping. If you don’t like mystery shopping, then you can drive for Lyft or Uber during the festive time. There are several companies who hire out designated drivers. Some companies even give $300 sign-on bonus for all new drivers. Use your driving skills to make money until the end of the year.
4. Give thoughtful gifts: Too much generosity can shrink your wallet. Instead of buying pricey gifts, you can give thoughtful gifts that are heart-warming yet budget-friendly. If you’re not a creative person, then you can give the gift of time. Spend a whole day with your loved ones or cook something delicious for your friends or offer to clean someone’s room. Your family and friends will be delighted but you won’t have to spend a penny.
5. Don’t purchase anything you can’t afford: A recent report from T. Rowe Price (an investment firm) revealed that 25% parents exhausted their retirement savings or 401(k) plans for covering holiday expenses.
you don’t have money to buy something your kid wants, then don’t buy it. You should learn to say ‘no’. Your children will be upset for a few days but later they will forget the incident. Plus, you can explain why you couldn’t buy all those gifts. Hopefully, they will understand your viewpoint. This is one of the smart ways to teach money management strategies to kids.
If nothing works, then just ask yourself only one question – “Can I keep my family happy with a debt load on my shoulder?” The answer is enough to stop you from overspending.
Holiday debt is a major concern in the USA. The average holiday debt in 2015 was $986 and in 2016 was $1003. 65.2% of consumers incurred debt unexpectedly and didn’t budget for the holiday expenses. 59.9% of consumers turned to credit card companies for covering their holiday expenses in 2016 and got into debt in January 2017.
If you love your wallet, then use your credit cards sensibly during the holiday season. Don’t get swept up in the consumerism of the festive season. Holidays are not about money and materialism. Forget about the less important things in life and focus on spending time with your family. With a little creativity and budgeting, it’s possible to spend holidays without inviting debt in your life. Believe me, you’ll feel even less stress when you ring in the New Year on a good financial note.