How to stick to a budget and resist impulse buying
The holidays are always busy, and to add to the stress of traveling and managing your time with family, there’s also the stress of gift giving. Not only is it difficult to find the perfect gift for each family member and friend, but gifts also put a big dent in your bank account. Check out these 5 ways to budget holiday spending and still be named the best gift giver!
- Set a spending limit
- Write a gift list
- Start a DIY project
- Find coupons
- Save for next year
Set a spending limit
Budgeting is commonly used to plan out monthly expenses and future purchases, but also it can be a life saver during the holiday season. Review your finances to determine a specific amount you can afford to spend on gifts and travel, while still maintaining enough to pay bills and save.
Once you have that number, use it to guide your purchases. New cookware would be an amazing gift for your mom, but does it fit within your budget? If not, find something similar at a lower price. It’s up to you to stick to your budget and not allow yourself to cave into impulse buying or using credit cards.
Write a gift list
Next, you can write a list of 1 or 2 gifts for each individual for whom you need to buy. This is the perfect time to consult your budget and ensure these gift ideas stay within the specified amount. Taking the list with you while shopping will help you stay on track so you aren’t distracted or taken too far off course in stores.
Start a DIY project
Another way to save money during the holidays are DIY projects! Maybe your neighbor recently had a medical procedure so they could use some pre-made meals while they heal, or your best friend moved to another state so you could decorate a personalized picture frame to mail as a surprise. It’s the personal touch that makes all the difference.
If crafts aren’t your thing, don’t forget about coupons! Check online or in the daily mail for lots of options, from groceries and yard supplies to spa treatments and tourist activities. Coupons and other holiday deals are a great way to give higher-value gifts while sticking to your personal budget.
Save for next year
Lastly, start planning for next year right now! The sooner you save, the more you’ll have stored away to create a larger budget for 2022 and beyond. You can even set up a savings account dedicated to the holidays and arrange an automatic transfer each month so you’re prepared when the time comes without interrupting your normal spending habits.
Still feeling a bit worried about budgeting? Read this blog for more tips and download our free template!