Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I am just sharing what works for me in terms of personal finance.
According to statistics, American households spent an average of $1,536 during the Christmas holiday period in 2018. That’s more than the minimum monthly gross wage. Yes, the holiday season usually means decorations, parties, trips, get-togethers, and gift-giving. Surely, there will be a lot of expenses during this time. That’s why it’s better to plan for it, and to keep your expenses in check so you don’t go overboard. Below are a few tips that can help:
1. Make a Christmas list (and a budget), and stick to it
Before your even go shopping, make a list of who you’ll be giving gifts to (and check it twice), then make a budget. Allot a budget for other holiday stuff too – dinners, visiting family, etc. If you have an idea of your expected expenses, you can be better prepared for it.
2. Start gift-shopping early
Avoid panic holiday shopping and start early. This way, you have time to look around for the best deals, plus you don’t have to deal with the stress of last-minute shopping.
3. Reuse Christmas decorations, or make your own
There’s no need to buy new decorations every year. If you really want a new look each year, you can buy a few new pieces and mix them with the old. Also, decorations usually costs less after Christmas, so you might want to check it out in preparation for the following year. If you’re the crafty type, here are some DIY decorations ideas as well.
4. DIY Christmas gifts
Speaking of crafty, you can also make your own Christmas gifts. Here are some DIY gift ideas, if you’re keen to try it out.
5. Share the load
Instead of preparing all the food for the party, have a potluck and ask guests to bring a dish to share. Aside from letting other people help out, guests can also try out different foods.
6. Keep a running total and monitor how much you’re spending
It’s very easy to overspend during this season, so try to regularly check how much you have been spending so you know if you need to slow down a bit 😊
Christmas may be a festive season, but it shouldn’t be the reason to go into debt for the sake of being extravagant. Keep your expenses within your means, and enjoy your family and friends’ company instead. Happy holidays, everyone! 🎄