Anyone else guilty of overspending during the holidays? No? Just me? This year I am vowing to stay on BUDGET and I have pulled together some tips that should help be do just that!
1) Make a list - This is step #1. Make a list of all expected holiday expenses. This includes gifts, decor, and even food (if you have to take food to an event). In my world, it also includes HOLIDAY OUTFITS!
2) Decide how much you can afford to spend - After your list has been made, you need to allocate a dollar amount to each person. JW and I have a rule - we spend the same amount on all of our nieces and nephews. Of course, we have changed that number over the years. But this helps us stay consistent and prevents us (really just me!) from overspending. If you are looking for budget friendly gift ideas, I have my favorite gift guides here.
3) Black Friday Sales - There is a reason that everyone is out shopping the day after Thanksgiving. And it is to SAVE MONEY! Shopping early and taking advantage of black friday sales will save you a ton of money! Yes you might have to wake up at 4am to get online and order that Xbox but YES it will feel so good knowing that you saved that $150! There are some great Black Friday items that have been sneaked from our *favorite* retailer and I shared my favorites here.
4) Track your purchases - I am totally that crazy person that uses a spreadsheet to track everything - even my credit card charges. Its a great visual for me and keeps me accountable. By this I mean, if I want to spend $100 on a person, and then I spend $200 - I have a visual slap on the hand! Also prevents those last minute gift buying binges. By seeing that I already hit my limit, I won't be so easily convinced to buy more!
5) Take advantage of free shipping - I know it seems silly but $5 here and $5 there for shipping can add up. Stick to retailers that offer free shipping - or if thats not an option - try to lump all of your purchases together to get above the free shipping minimum. For example, if you need to spend $50 for free shipping, try to get a couple different gifts from that same retailer so you get the free shipping! Another way to save money on shipping is to use the "store delivery" option. Typically this involves free shipping and all you have to do it pick it up!
6) Remember your other debts - If you are capable of overspending, keep a list of your other debts in your wallet as a reminder. Paying off those student loans and making your car payment is way more important than any $50 gift! Our goal should be to get out of debt and stay out of debt!
I hope that is helpful! What is your favorite tip?
Cheers to a debt free, on budget, holiday season! Be sure to check out all of my gift guides here!