One of the biggest moderators of our stress during the holidays is our finances. For good reason. We’ve compiled a guide of tips and tricks for you to apply to lessen the blow.
This one may be coming a little late, but try not to spend 1.5 percent of your household annual income. This was suggested by Practical Money Skills for Life. Remember that there are hidden costs in present giving, such as wrapping paper. Be sure you have enough Scotch tape. This kind of holding back will give you some wiggle room the remainder of the year.
Once you decide how much you’re willing to spend, only pay in cash. When the money’s gone, you’ll know to stop. Don’t buy anything else. This will work, especially if you plan your gifts in advance. Doing the same thing with the family will keep you from getting carried away.
We really don’t recommend using credit cards unless you can pay it back immediately. Always use the card that has the lowest interest rate. In the flurry of the holiday season, it’s easy to get lost when using a credit card. It really isn’t the best option.
Sending ecards is a free way to send the one’s you love a Season’s Greetings. Christmas cards are fun, but stationery can be expensive, and a roll of stamps can be too. Just get their email. None the wiser!
Say “no” to little eager beavers. Children are adorable, and their spirits are high during the jolly season. It’s okay to turn them down on the toy they want when you know it may be sitting under the tree. Then, a few more days, they still want something. Know what I’m talking about? Give them a present everyday instead. This keeps them excited, and it keeps you from having to buy more and more things.
Put together a gift closet filled with used gift wrapping paper, gift bags, etc. Next year, you will have all of that material to use for the holiday season! Done, done, and done.
Eat leftovers. There are so many this time of year. Or, buy bulk ingredients and switch it up a little bit for the kids.
Spend more time paying nothing. Go to the park. Go to the library. There are things in your neighborhood worth exploring that don’t gobble up your money. We wish you happy hunting!