Create a spending plan-Whether you’re buying for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just getting friends together for the holiday season, establishing a spending plan will help keep track of who’s on your shopping list, how much you’ve budgeted, gift ideas, and estimated expenses.
Most financial institutions have a holiday savings account/Christmas account that you can put a percentage in every month and then get a check mailed in the month of November to help you budget for your holiday.
Relationship with the recipient is a key factor in deciding how much to spend on holiday gifts. Etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore breaks it down this way:
Shop Smart-Start shopping early. You’re more likely to purchase carelessly if you feel rushed or pressured. Shopping early in the week or in the mornings will help you avoid the heaviest traffic. Also, consider shopping online to avoid buying on impulse and to take advantage of free shipping. Studies show that customers are willing to pay 50% more for products in stores, where they can touch the product, than online.
Check your list twice-Do you really need to buy for everyone in your family? Maybe talk about a family spending limit or drawing names out of a hat so you can buy for just one person instead of everyone.
Gift cards aren’t bad gifts-Some would say a gift card is taboo. But it’s a fixed amount you can budget for. Its easy to spend 5 or 10 dollars more on an item that’s not a gift card.
Seasons Greetings-In the end, the holidays are all about enjoying friends and family. Staying focused on time with loved ones and other joys of the season can help you to keep stress in perspective. By being mindful of your wallet and budget through the holiday season, you can start off the new year on the right financial foot.