Christmas is an amazing time of year that unites people around the globe for an international spending frenzy. As children we are all told that this time of year is about expressing your love for family & friends, but over time it has turned into a bonanza for businesses around the world. With the stress of the holidays already descending upon us, it’s important to keep your head on straight so you don’t end up broke by the end of the holidays. We know that it’s easy to get sucked into a bunch of money draining traps during Christmas. For this reason we have come up with a list of the most effective ways to protect your finances from the mania of Christmas.
Create a Game plan for the Holidays – Since this is the most hectic time of the year, blindly going headfirst into the holiday madness is simply outrageous. The determining factor of the holidays is your budget, so making a clear budget needs to be your first move. If you neglect to set a holiday budget you are guaranteed to be hating yourself by the end of the holidays. So avoid this pitfall by setting a clear budget of what you are going to spend, after that you can figure out what parties you will attend & plan your menus accordingly. Planning ahead after you have set your budget is especially useful for meal preparation for any parties you may be hosting.
Don’t Spend Money That You Don’t Have – There is nothing worse than starting the new year with a massive amount of newly acquired debt from the holidays. Save yourself from the infamous Christmas financial hangover by only using cash & debit cards. By doing this you are protecting yourself from overspending when shopping this holiday season. Never underestimate how easy it’s to go over your balance using credit cards.
Leave Open Space in Your Schedule – Trying to micromanage Christmas is like trying to change the weather, you will look like a fool if you try to. Remember that with the holidays comes a myriad of surprises, so prepare accordingly. If you leave no free time to compensate for horrendous traffic jams & holiday mishaps you are setting yourself up to be running against the clock. Christmas is supposed to be about enjoying the company of your family & friends, so leave yourself ample time to enjoy the most important part of Christmas.
Buy Less Gifts – Don’t let yourself be brainwashed into thinking that your children need a mountain of gifts to be happy. The sad truth is the more gifts children receive, the more overstimulated & spoiled they become. Teach them to treasure their gifts by not bombarding them with an avalanche of gifts that will end up being forgotten after a couple of months. The same goes for family members, if you don’t want to give them a gift don’t do it. Tell people in advance that you are simplifying this Christmas & if they really care about you they will understand.
Shop Smart – This golden rule will put you ahead of a majority of people this holiday season. A shocking 52% of consumers don’t even make a budget before they embark on wild shopping sprees during Christmas. Another 70% of shoppers make their Christmas purchases on Black Friday. While companies offer killer deals to drive the raving crowds of people mad on Black Friday, you have to ask yourself if you are literally willing to risk your life to purchase a discounted blender. Shopping online will give you better deals, save gas money, help you avoid buying products that you don’t need & most importantly keep you away from the ravenous stampede of Christmas shoppers.