Christmas is right around the corner and everyone knows Christmas is the time of giving. The “giving spirit” can sometimes cause us to overspend, therefore leaving us in debt. But in order to be a blessing to someone else, you have to be in a position to give. Here is my strategy to ensure I avoid beginning 2020 in credit card debt as a result of overspending during the holidays.
Avoid using credit cards!
The ideal strategy to avoid using credit cards would be to limit purchases to cash only, but if you will make gift purchases online (like I plan to do), get a prepaid card and load your preplanned Christmas budget.
Decide a total amount that you can afford to spend on Christmas.
(Key word, that you can afford!) Calculate your disposable income and decide how much of that disposable income you will designate for holiday spending.
Plan, plan, plan!!
Write down everyone you plan on buying a gift and write a dollar amount that you plan/can afford to spend.
Purchase the perfect gift!
Now that you have a total holiday spending budget, think of a meaningful/significant gift that you can buy each person within that amount. Make a list and plan out every single item you plan to buy.
Monitor the gifts you want to purchase and purchase them at the lowest cost. Black Friday are usually not the best deals of the season, and the month of December usually has better sales. Do your research and purchase your gift while they are on sale. I use the Krazy Coupon Lady app, newspaper sales ads, and direct emails from the stores’ mailing list to find the best deals.
Get money back
If you’re shopping online, use programs that offer rebates. There are several programs like this. I use Rakuten and Ibotta.
Use coupons and promo codes
If you’re shopping online, ALWAYS search for a promo code.
Avoid the additional expenses
If shipping is too high and there is a local store, shop in stores.
These are very simple steps, but you have to be intentional. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I LOVE giving gifts. I love to give meaningful gifts to those that I love. To see the look in their eyes and smiles on their faces when they open up a gift that they have been wanting, makes me light up. Especially the kids. I think it is important to make your children’s Christmas special but, I don’t think you should go into debt doing it. Christmas is not a time to spend money you don’t have. It is more important to teach your children the joy of giving and it is a perfect financial lesson.
So, there you have it. Here is your guide to avoid overspending during the holidays. What is your strategy to stay on budget?