The festive season comes with the temptation to recklessly spend.While the spirit of spending,giving and sharing is encouraged during this period,it is important to emphasise the fact that responsible spending is a must.Below are some tips which can assist you to survive the festive season and avoid the credit trap.
Make a budget – There are different ways to set a holiday budget.You might want to establish a general spending cap,or try allocating a specific amount to each person on your gift list.Be aware,though,that while making a holiday budget is great,it can go sour in one or two ways.
Setting a budget that’s too tight – While setting a tight budget always starts with good intentions,an unrealistic one can do more harm than good.Without a little room for last minute purchases or enough cash allocated for someones gift,you can end up very frustrated.In fact,you might get so frustrated that you just toss your budget out of the window.To prevent this from happening,look over your numbers. Don’t just pick numbers out of thin air,really think things over to ensure that you make the right decisions.
Track your spending – Your budget does no good if you don’t effectively track your spending.Keep a separate Christmas fund in a dedicated bank account.This makes it easier to separate holiday spending from regular,day to day expenses.Spreadsheets are also an excellent and accurate way to track your holiday expenditures.By establishing a budget and entering your real expenses,you can easily keep yourself on track.Just be sure to remain diligent.
Cut back on extras – Everyone is guilty of overindulging a little more than we should simply because its the holiday season.However,you cant get stuck in a trap where constant spending on extras eats into your budget.
Choose cheaper traditions – Traditions are what make the holidays so special,but they can be a financial burden.If your traditions include holiday travel,paying for a special attraction,or surprising your children with extravagant gifts,you might find yourself going significantly over budget in the name of family.
Know when to stop – When your list is finished and you have checked it twice,its time to stop shopping.Know when you are finished and avoid stopping by the mall just to see what they have.This can lead to making poorly planned purchases and blowing your budget.