The holidays are an expensive time for everyone. Many of us often feel pressured to overspend on gifts, trying to show our loved ones how much they’re appreciated, while trying to convince others (and ourselves) that we can afford it. However, for many of us, festive spending can easily get out of hand. In fact, a whopping 76% of us overspend during the festive season.
Gifts certainly take up a large portion of that spending, but they’re not the only holiday expense. Travel, festive food and drink, parties and more all add up to hurt our bank balances and budgets.
To avoid having to worry about damage control in the new year, try to implement a few of these top tips to help manage your money this holiday season.
- Set a budget for gifts and social events
Most people usually have a general budget in mind for gifts but tend to forget about the expense of socialising with family, friends, and colleagues in the holiday season. Evade nasty bank balance surprises by adding such costs into your overall Christmas budget.
- Don’t blow your savings
It’s easy to be pressured into spending more than you can afford, even by children and loved ones. Make sure you know how you’re really going to finance everything. If that means dipping into your savings, keep track of how much you take out so you can add it back in to your savings budget in the new year.
- Look for the best deals
Many shops stock the same items, but not at the same prices. Shop around in person and online to make sure you get the best deals on presents and festive foods. Winter sales are also underway in many stores, while supermarkets know what people need this time of year and will do their best to get ahead of their competition.
- Give vouchers as presents
Vouchers are a great gift, allowing the recipient to buy whatever takes their fancy. Most stories have sales right after Christmas, so your loved ones will be able to get more value from the voucher during this period. You could even choose to re-gift some vouchers if you received any for a store you don’t usually buy from.
Finally, keep a running total of everything you spend, and keep the receipts in case anything needs to be returned. Even the best Christmas planning budget can go awry sometimes. If you keep a running total, you’ll be able to catch yourself overspending before things go too far, and readjust to get yourself back on track. You’ll be much better placed to manage your finances in the new year this way.