Despite meticulous planning, the holidays are the time when most consumers do the most damage to their debt loads by buying presents for family and friends now and figuring out how to pay for them later.
Here are some tips to help you avoid overspending during the holiday season.
Get over the guilt
Are you buying that gift because you haven’t spent enough time with that recipient? Are you trying to make up for something you’re feeling bad about? It’s important to ask yourself if spending a surplus of money on a gift is really going to help you achieve the goal of gift-giving in the first place.
Set a budget, spend within it
It is crucial to establish a budget BEFORE you go shopping. Don’t spend more than you can pay back in one month. You’ll still have to pay your regular bills just like the other 11 months of the year plus all those added holiday expenses.
Always pay for purchases with a debit card
If you can’t pay with debit, you can’t afford it.
Don’t let a gift put a value on you
Consumers value themselves based on their spending choices. People become consumed in what they believe they’re expected to purchase. Think about what you can afford. What is the meaning and value behind your gift? The gift may not cost much, but may be worth more to the recipient than the price.
Put meaning into your gift
Donating to a charity of your choice in a loved one’s name is a fantastic way to show you care while staying within your budget. Research a charity or organization that holds special meaning to your recipient and honor them while helping somebody else in need.
Start the New Year right