During the holidays, the lights, family, food, and, of course, gifts bring a sense of excitement. Of
course, you might also experience anxiety as the biggest shopping season of the year gets
underway. No one wants an overspending hangover come January, so make sure you already
know what you owe before you pull out your credit cards.
To ensure you don’t overspend this holiday season, follow these tips:
You don’t have to get the most lavish gifts. Set a spending limit early on—and be realistic about
it. When you create your holiday budget, factor in your monthly household expenses, so you
know how much you have to spend. This way, you can decide where to cut back (recreation and
dining are good areas to reduce) and allocate more dollars to your holiday budget.
Tip: When budgeting, make sure to include all holiday expenses, like gift wrap, cards, gifts,
food, postage, decorations, travel, and more.
Keep a record of how much you spend. You can do this using paper and pen, a spreadsheet,
holding onto receipts, or even a budgeting app.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit
The holidays are a good time to watch your credit to ensure you’re not the victim of identity
theft. One way to combat this is by using virtual credit card numbers when shopping online.
When it comes down to it, you don’t want to overspend on your card and upset your credit
utilization ratio. This means ensuring that your available credit is higher than the amount you
owe—so your credit score doesn’t take a hit.
The earlier you start buying gifts, the better, but shopping sales and discounts can help keep
you on budget. Big shopping events, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, offer huge savings.
You may also find different discount codes when shopping online. And never discount the
power of the coupon.
Get Credit Counseling
If you already have credit card debt and aren’t sure how to factor in holiday spending, make an
appointment with a credit counselor. During your meeting, they’ll help you create a budget and
provide valuable education and resources on successful money management—so you can make
it through the holidays without heaping more debt on yourself.
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