There’s no denying that the Christmas season can put serious pressure on budgets. Between gift-giving, hosting meals and other events, and participating in fun activities with friends and family, there’s often a lot of money flying out of your wallet at this time of year.
But remember, the holidays should be about appreciating and spending time with the important people in your life, not about going into debt. Read on for a look at some easy ways to make the holidays a special one while still sticking to your budget.
1. Make a budget.
It’s difficult to stay on budget if you haven’t made a budget in the first place. Take some time to think about all your holiday expenses. This may include not only gifts, but also things like food and drink for your home, traveling expenses, activities, and charitable donations.
Next, determine how much money you have available to cover those expenses. Finally, write it all down and be sure to consult your budget regularly to make sure you’re keeping within your limits.
2. Track your purchases.
Tracking what you actually spend goes hand in hand with making (and sticking to) your budget. As you make your holiday purchases, deduct whatever you spend from your budget. That way, you can clearly and easily see how much money you have left for your remaining expenses.
Be sure to keep track of all your spending, not just larger purchases. Smaller items can quickly add up.
3. Use your credit card wisely.
Many people rely on a credit card to get them through their holiday spending. However, most financial experts recommend not going beyond your means during the Christmas season.
If you use credit, avoid falling into the trap of buying things now and figuring out how to pay for them later. A budget can help you with this. If you do plan to use your credit card for significant expenses, do your best to make sure you have enough money available to pay your bill off quickly.
4. Give group gifts.
Gift-giving is often the single largest holiday expense for most people, especially those with big families or lots of friends or colleagues. But what if you have an extensive list of people to give gifts to during the holidays?
Consider pooling resources with family and friends and giving gifts as a group. This can help make gift-giving financially easier for the givers. In addition, sometimes a single, larger gift can be more impactful than several smaller ones.
5. Give gifts you can make or do.
Of course, it’s not always necessary to spend any money on gifts at all. Gifts of experiences or gifts that you can make are becoming popular among givers and receivers alike. Such gifts are often more meaningful and personal than the latest gadget or toy.
6. Get creative with your decorations.
All those decorative holiday extras such as wrapping paper and decorations can make a big hole in your budget if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are plenty of equally festive, less expensive alternatives to consider.
For example, instead of buying wrapping paper that’s just going to get thrown away after one use, why not invest in some pretty holiday fabric? You can wrap gifts in big fabric squares, or use the fabric to make gift bags that you can reuse year after year.
7. Simplify your gatherings.
Hosting gatherings of family and friends at your home is one of the joys of the holiday season. Unfortunately, it can be expensive to provide food, drinks, and entertainment for a crowd. When planning holiday parties, just remember that what people value most is spending time and having fun together, not necessarily eating fancy food or sipping expensive beverages.
Instead of cooking a costly three-course dinner for your guests, it can be just as festive to serve people simple appetizers all evening. Or you could consider hosting a Christmas potluck where everyone can bring and share their favorite holiday dish. You may even find that you can start some new traditions, ones that are meaningful without being expensive.
8. Keep your eyes out for deals like Quick Cash Christmas and plan for next year.
During the holiday season, GBTI offers GBTI’s Quick Cash Christmas. This promotion enables customers to obtain up to $500,000 for any of their spending needs. The promotion fast approval, easy repayment options, and competitive interest rates, plus the opportunity to win prizes for your home. GBTI’s Quick Cash Christmas is only available until December 31.
Whether or not you take advantage of this opportunity during the 2019 Christmas season, there is definitely time to plan ahead for next year. Take note of what worked and what didn’t this year so you can implement some of these tips well in advance of the holidays next time.