Tips to avoid hurting your finances this Christmas season
Holiday shopping can be very draining, both for your mental health and for the status of your bank account. But they don’t have to be! With good planning and a monthly budget, you can do your holiday shopping responsibly.
Here are some tips to enjoy the holidays to the fullest, without exceeding your financial limits.
1. 1. How much will you spend?
The first step is to determine how much you’ll spend this Christmas. We’re not talking about how much you’d like to spend or think you should spend, but how much your budget allows you to. Evaluate your monthly expenses and essential items within your budget, and then separate the amount you can use for holiday shopping. When you determine this number, it’ll be easier to comply with the rest of the tips on this list.
2. Make the list, check it twice!
Once you have a clear your budget for Christmas expenses, make a list of all the people you want to give gifts to. Next to each name, write the amount designated for their gift. Remember, you must stay within that margin so that you’ll have enough money to make all your holiday shopping.
3. Monitor the list
You have to use the list! Every time you buy a gift, go to your list and subtract from the total allocated to the person what you’ve just spent. If you have something left over after selecting the gift, you can move it to a person you believe deserves a little more of your money.
4. Good, nice, and cheap
As you select gifts, look for seasonal offers and discount coupons. It’s not about giving away something that’s not good, but about getting those super deals and winning.
5. Make a wish list!
Avoid spending money on things others don’t like or need. Play it safe, take a survey. Research the most popular children’s toys. Ask people what they’d like to receive or what they need. If they don’t want to answer, ask someone close to them. If you get creative and make a Christmas-themed “wish list,” they may be motivated to fill it out.
6. Manage expectations
There are good and not so great years. Whatever your case, discuss it with your loved ones so you can maintain harmony in the gift exchange. No one likes to receive a mega gift and be unsatisfied with the gift they gave in return. To avoid these uncomfortable situations, talk about it. Christmas is about love and loving gestures. Capitalize on that.
“Truqui Truqui Truquitos Navideños”
Now that we’ve covered the gifts, here are some extra tips to stay on budget and not hurt your finances during the season.
1. Add to a fund throughout the year that’s reserved for Christmas purposes. Thus, you’ll be better prepared to face holiday shopping.
2. Do you need some extra money? Take the opportunity and make that dessert or drink that you make exquisitely, and offer it for sale. Social media is great for promoting yourself. A red bow above the container’s lid and it’s ready.
3. Secret Santa! Many large families choose to make this kind of gift exchange to reduce the number of gifts they must buy. Everyone will leave with a gift, and no one will be left empty-handed, while spending a nice, and sometimes even comical, time.
4. Speaking of these gift exchanges, you don’t have to participate in all of them! Dare to say no if buying one more gift puts you in trouble. Be part of the gift exchanges that are really special to you.
5. Recycle gift bags and wrapping paper from the previous year, if you don’t already do so.
6. Gift a plant, a dessert made by you, some experience… Not everything is about money.
7. Digital Christmas cards, forget the printed ones.