‘Tis the season to be spending! I mean…Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
The holiday season is right around the corner, and spending money on gifts comes along with the joy of being with your loved ones. You may also want to get gifts for everyone you know, but this isn’t often feasible without your wallet taking a serious beating.
Spending top dollar on expensive gifts isn’t necessarily what this time of year is all about. Gifts are meant to show your appreciation for someone, and sometimes spending a lot of money doesn’t convey that. Your loved ones are also probably not expecting some lavish present if they know money is tight.
It’s important to curb your spending during the holidays so you don’t have to start the New Year in debt. Here are some tips to help you save money this season:
Be Careful With Credit Cards
You might see something in the store that would make a perfect gift, but you just can’t afford it. What do you do? Just charge it to the credit card and worry about it later, right? Not if you want to avoid overspending.
Don’t get into the habit of abusing your credit card. Your debt will just add up, and you’ll be spending the next few months trying to pay it back. You should only use your credit card if you are certain you can pay off the balance right away. If not, then use cash to buy your gifts.
If you do use your credit card, make sure you set a spending limit. Simply swiping your card when paying for something above your price range is very easy to do, but you must have some discipline when it comes to buying gifts.
Set Your Budget
You need a game plan when you are holiday shopping.
This is, by far, the easiest time of year to lose track of your money. You go into Target expecting to buy one or two things, and then you see something one of your friends would love — but you can’t get something for one friend without getting a gift for another friend. Then, you see some shirts your dad would really like. Before you know it, you have spent $300 more than you wanted to.
It’s nice to be able to give people gifts, but don’t go overboard. Set a budget before you do any shopping, and then make a list of specific gifts or a price range you can spend on each person. No matter how tempting it may be to go over that limit, you have to stick to your list.
Look for Deals
It’s time to fall in love with coupons (if you haven’t already).
If you have ever turned on a TV or glanced over a newspaper in November or December, then you know there are always great deals going on during the holiday season. Retailers are competing with each other for your business, and they’re slashing their prices. That’s good news for you and your wallet.
Black Friday is universally known as the prime shopping day. Every store has massive deals, and you can get some pretty expensive gifts for relatively cheap. However, unless you start shopping at midnight (or right after Thanksgiving dinner), chances are you’ll miss out on these items.
With online shopping and Cyber Monday, you have other options to score big on the gifts you want without getting up at the crack of dawn and fighting off massive crowds of people.
Deals are happening everywhere, so be on the lookout and save those coupons!
Make the Gifts
Making gifts is a cheap alternative that truly shows the other person you appreciate them. Expensive gifts might be nice, but sometimes it can seem like you are putting a price tag on how much the other person is valued.
When you make a gift for someone, you can make it personal, and they’ll love it more than anything you can buy in a store. Some gifts are easy to make, and the supplies won’t cost you much money at all.
Gifts are all about the other person, and making something you know they will treasure is much more satisfying then lazily purchasing the latest gadget. Handmade gifts show thought and love, and that’s all the other person can ask for.
Holiday shopping shouldn’t be a stressful time of the year. Stop worrying about how much to spend on someone, and get them something — or make them something — they’ll appreciate.