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Happy Holidays for You AND Your Money!
by Original content: Millie Collins | Adapted for blog: Katie Cullum
Now is the time to set some controls for your holiday spending before the glossy ads and the peer pressure to buy expensive gifts begin to have their intended effect. Although the holidays are deservedly the time to give and receive, they have become a season of taking on too much debt. If you develop a game plan in advance, you can avoid the post-Christmas remorse.
Begin by setting a spending target. Staying under your target will help relieve the stress of being broke after the holidays. Here are some ideas to use:
- Make a budget of how much you want to spend and WHO you want to spend it on. Have family conversations about limitations and determining needs vs. wants.
- Use cash. Credit cards make it really easy to spend more than you need to. And if you don’t have a solid plan, those gifts you buy with a credit card end up costing a whole lot more than if you had paid cash. Remember that credit card interest rates are not going down these days.
- Challenge stores to price match.
- Buy items early when you see them on sale if your spending plan allows.
- Give a gift to an entire family or group instead of an individual. This may save money as well as time searching out gifts for each person.
- Gift cards are wonderful BUT make sure you match the company with the recipient. Don’t get a gym membership for someone who hates working out.
- Remember that experiences are more fulfilling than things. Consider giving the gift of an experience like a ticket to a sporting event, regional attractions, manicure/pedicure, gym membership and more.
Here’s hoping Christmas 2022 will find you spending smarter. Find the ideas that work for you and yours and avoid the holiday expenses months after the lights and decorations have been taken down.
Source: University of Minnesota Extension. No date. Holiday Expenses. https://extensionumn.edu/spending-and-saving/holiday-spending