7 Ways to Manage Money Better During the Holiday Season
There’s something about this time of year that brings out a side of us we don’t generally see the rest of the year. Our generous nature comes to the fore and we find ourselves more accommodating and giving than usual.
If someone cuts in front of us on the road we simply wave them in with a smile. At the store we’re all smiley and chatty, giving everyone and their cousin the time of day. Nothing is too much trouble.
Unfortunately, it also makes us a little too loosey goosey with our money. We get so caught up in the festive spirit that our practical side flies out the window. It’s fun to go a little crazy, especially if you have kids, but not if you blow up the budget in the process.
Follow these tips to manage your holiday spending and you’ll kick off the new year in the black as opposed to in debt. Because when it comes to finances, black is the new black.
Make a Budget
If you don’t already have one, now is the perfect time to make a budget. Once you’ve added your fixed monthly costs you’ll be able to figure out exactly how much money you can spend over the Holidays. Once you have a dollar amount you can break it down into things like gifts, catering Christmas lunch, making holiday treats and so on.
We all celebrate differently, so only you can know what you need to allow for in your budget. Of course, a budget isn’t worth the spreadsheet it’s created on unless you actually stick to it. Challenge yourself to stay within your limit. Be creative in the way you ‘do’ the Holidays this year and you might even surprise yourself by coming in under.
Make a List
The fastest way to overspend is to leave home without a detailed shopping list. This is when you end up buying things you already have because you’re drunk on Christmas spirit and your memory has gone AWOL.
Don’t do it. Take the time to make a list and make sure you don’t leave home without it. One way to avoid this happening is to write it out on paper and have an electronic copy on your phone, too. If you want to manage your money like a pro this is the way to do it.
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