Use These Tips to Avoid Excess Spending This Holiday Season

Use These Tips to Avoid Excess Spending This Holiday Season
December 2, 2019

It’s that time of year again! You’ve probably already treated yourself to some Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping and you might even still have some last minute Christmas presents to buy. The holidays tend to tempt people to see how far their credit cards will stretch but you don’t need to rack up tons of debt to just to give your loved ones gifts this season.

We’ve got some holiday savings tips to help you avoid burning a hole in your wallet this Christmas:

Piggy bank wrapped in Christmas lights1. Stick to a shopping list

Planning ahead is the best way to make sure you don’t go overboard during the holidays. Consider your finances and set a budget for each area of spending, such as gifts or groceries, and then stick to it. Once you know generally how much money you have to put towards each category, you can make a shopping list. If you really try to adhere to it, you should find yourself with a little bit more money leftover in your pocket than you probably did last year.

2. Avoid jumping at sales

Who doesn’t get just a little bit excited when Black Friday rolls around? Everybody loves sales but they often lead to us buying things we don’t need - and things we can’t actually afford. Though 40% off sales and “buy one get one free” promises are tempting, you don’t need to take advantage of sales just for the sake of it. If there’s something on your shopping list that you need to buy regardless and it ends up going on sale, go for it, but keep in mind that taking advantage of a few sales can still mean spending quite a lot.

3. Temporarily swear off plastic

Carrying a credit card can sometimes make us feel like we have the power to purchase anything we want. Insert the chip and that new TV is now yours. It feels as simple as that. If you need some help cracking down on your spending (and you’re not particularly great with financial self-control), try leaving your card at home and temporarily switching to cash. Go to a bank or ATM and only take out as much as you’ll need. This should help you cut out the excess and stick to only buying what’s necessary.

4. Track your spending

It’s easy to keep spending money you shouldn’t when you don’t have a solid idea of how much money you’ve already spent. Tracking your spending is a best practice you should utilize year round, especially because it’s relatively easy to do. Whether you want to keep track of your spending in an Excel doc or via an app, like Mint, just make sure you don’t spend more than you have coming in. Once you fall into the habit of tracking your spending, you’ll notice that you’ll be able to save more money over time too.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to save a little bit extra (or just spend a little bit less) over the holidays by following these tips. Let us know what works for you.