Happy December Folks!
We’re kicking off December with a simple tip about budgeting for the holidays.
There is no denying that it’s simpler than ever before to spend money. Where we used to have to drive to a store, take out cash and make an in-person transaction, has morphed into a convenience of shopping from your couch in your pjs with a click of a button.
As much as I personally love that, it’s also super easy to overspend without even realizing it, which is why I always create a separate holiday budget.
Whether you are an aspiring minimalist who trades physical gifts for experiences, or you are someone who still enjoys coming down on Christmas morning to houseful of gifts to unwrap, we are still spending money.
Below are 5 tips to keep from overspending during the holiday season:
- Create a Separate Holiday Bank Account- who remembers the old Christmas Club at the bank? Same concept, just updated. I have a separate account called Christmas and each month throughout the year I automatically transfer a set amount of money from our main checking account to our Christmas Account. When it’s time to shop I use the debit card tied to that account. If you prefer to use one card for all of your purchases, just keep track of your spending and transfer the funds from the Christmas account to pay for the gifts.
- Set a Per-Person Spending Budget- Once you know how much you have to spend, you get to decide how much you want to allocate to each person. This sort of checks and balances helps from going off the rails without realizing it. This is also a good teachable moment about the difference between quality vs quantity. If you plan to spend $200 per child and one wants an xbox and the other wants legos and crafts, there will be a disproportionate number of gifts, but the value remains the same.
- Spend within Your Means- Please, please, please do not go into debt for Christmas! Some years are more fruitful than others, and there is no shame in either choosing not to spend a lot, or not being able to spend a lot of money. You don’t want to go into January paying for stuff from December.
- Create Lasting Traditions-Your family will remember the things you did, not what you bought them. Whether it’s an annual cookie exchange, decorating the tree, or watching a classic movie together, these traditions are what people remember most.
- Be Generous-There are so many people who are not fortunate enough to have the basics, let alone fun gifts. If you are able, find a local “adopt a child” in your area and show them the true meaning of giving. If you have young children, bring them along and allow them to be part of the process so they can see the importance and impact that comes from serving others.
Looking for a holiday gift tracker? We’ve got you covered! Grab it here.
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