During the holiday season it’s easy to get caught up in the desire to give the perfect gifts, and often people focus on the gift over the cost. Many times, shoppers dig themselves into a hole that they can’t escape in the New Year.
Establish a Budget
Remember to create a budget for your holiday spending. This means to start to save money weekly or monthly.
> Decide how much you can spend
Instead of making a list of everyone you would like to buy for, decide how much you would like to spend and divide that among family and friends. Recognize your financial limits.
> Keep track of your spending
It’s easy to overspend when you don’t know where your money is going and what you’re buying. Make a conscious effort to know where each penny goes. This not only means on gifts but also for food, decorations, favors, and other materials.
> Open a separate account now
Have a specific account just for holiday spending. This will ensure that you know where each dollar goes, and you’ll have the cash saved up so you don’t worry about using credit. If you know that you’ve had trouble in past years, it would be best to make it a cash-only holiday season. By the time the holidays roll around, there should be enough money saved up. This means that you don’t have to worry about overspending or using credit–and you’ll save money!
Start looking for gifts early, and you don’t have to worry at the last second.
> Do research
Look around the Internet for deals for gifts you potentially could buy for someone. During the year many retailers have sales; look for a gift during that time, and you will surely save money.
> Do not wait until the last minute
Many stores during the holiday months will raise their prices and add a small discount to make it seem appealing when, in reality, you might pay more for the gift. Buy popular electronics now before they become high-demand.