Written by: Christian Williams
With the holiday season approaching quickly behind the start of autumn, you may start noticing stores advertising their holiday deals and decorations at times that always seem way too early. However, the brown and orange leaves of fall also serve as a good indicator to start thinking about your holiday budget. While it’s easy to become ensnared in spending throughout the chaotic (and exciting!) holiday season, it can be beneficial to develop a plan for yourself before the shopping spree begins.
Here are three great tips to monitor your holiday spending in order maintain financial responsibility without losing any of the seasonal joy:
1. Determine a Budget (Spending Limits!) - While simple in nature, this holiday spending tip is both the most important and difficult to implement. According to the American Research Group, the average household in the U.S. planned to spend $851 on gifts for the 2020 holiday season. This amount may be too high or too low for your household, however, you can still use this midpoint as a starting point to determine a budget that works for you. Lastly, make sure to only use money that isn’t needed for important bills or stemming from cash advances on credit cards to make sure you can enter the new year without incurring any new debt.
2. Make a List Before Shopping - When walking through stores during the holiday season, it’s hard not to encounter a sale, deal, or other type of discount. In order to avoid the psychological downfall of chasing all the best deals, making a list before you begin your shopping will help to serve as a guide and keep you disciplined while perusing the stores and waiting in countless lines.
3. Track Your Spending - After all the time you’ve spent preparing your holiday budget and shopping list, it would be a waste not to follow through with your strategy! Therefore, it’s paramount to continue to track and monitor your spending as you work your way down your carefully prepared shopping list. Through this tracking, you will be able to supervise your spending to stay committed to your previously established holiday limits.