Around the Christmas season, it can be incredibly easy to overspend. Payday comes, you get too excited buying gifts for your loved ones, and suddenly you’re left pulling your hair out because you can’t afford the basics. It’s happened to all of us, and learning how to keep our spending in check is not something that comes naturally to everyone. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ten simple solutions to help you stop from overspending this holiday season.
1. Write out a budget. The first thing you need to do is to create your own budget. List what you can spend every month while being honest and realistic about what’s coming in. It can take a while to get the hang of, but it will really help you get abetter grasp of how much you have to spend on holiday expenses like gifts,travel, and food.
2. Work out the priorities. Look at your monthly spending and work out what is most important.Things like bills, food, and rent should always be at the top, followed by lesser necessities such as clothes and cutting your hair. List what’s important and in the order that is right for you.
3. Use debit cards. Prepaid credit cards seem like a great solution during the holiday because you cannot go over the allotted amount and you can only spend more once you top it up again. However, the hidden secret to these is that they often have added fees, which ends up costing you more in the long run! Stick to your regular debit card and be careful to monitor how much your spending a teach store. Set your budget before you step through the door and you’ll be surprised how easily you’ll stick to your budget.
4. Sleep on spending choices. Around the holidays, there are always tons of sales going on. While it may be tempted to purchase the discounted big screen TV, really assess whether you need this, and more importantly, whether you can afford it! If you’re going to make a big purchase, sleep on it first. That way when you wake up the next morning, you will know if it’s a solid choice or one you were going to make impulsively.
5. Check subs and food costs. Because they are so easy to lose in the monthly budget, subscriptions should always be tracked closely. Every month, assess whether your subscriptions are still in use, and if they aren’t, cancel them. Similarly, check how much you are spending on food and if you really need the amount you are buying — especially eating out!
6. Don’t shop emotionally. It can be so easy to let your emotions lead when you are shopping, especially if you’re having a bad day. Resist the urge to emotionally shop and your bank account will thank you for it! Instead, do something that doesn’t cost a penny, like taking a walk with a friend or a relaxing bath.
7. Remember: credit means debt. Credit cards are not free money, they’re actually debt and really only good for building a credit score. The general rule of thumb is to keep your utilization rate, or the balance divided by the credit limit, less than 30%. Always pay your credit card on time to keep that credit score in the safe zone.Credit means debt!
8. Use coupons and codes. Coupons and online voucher codes are the best way to buy more of the good stuff for Christmas without blowing your budget, and they can help you stop overspending. There are hundreds of websites that can give you access to codes and coupons for your favorite stores. A little scouring and you’re guaranteed to be the best gift giver this season!
9. Create financial goals. Creating financial goals for yourself gives you something to work towards and helps curb overspending you may have become used to. Putting money into savings feels really rewarding, and you can treat yourself to a little something when you reach each goal.
10. Need versus want. Do you need it or just want it? You should ask yourself this question before buying anything —even food. Once you let this rule slip, it can easily lead to a whole spending spiral.
To conclude. Overspending is easy while stopping it can be a tricky task. With these ten helpful tips, however, you’ll be on the road to success in no time! Keep your spending at a minimum this holiday season and you’ll enter the New Year with a healthy bank account and a lot less stress.Happy saving!