It’s beginning to look a lot like spending season. We’ve finally reached the final week of November, and the first of the month of Christmas is looming ever closer with every day. Those organised folk among us will already have done the vast majority of their shopping, while the rest of us still live in fear of the day we’ll have to approach the busy shopping centre.
As lovely as the Christmas season is, the vast majority of people will find themselves overspending. Statistically, it’s been shown that as many as 62% of parents in the US will admit they’ve spent more than they should have on their children this Christmas, with 47% of these people using credit cards. Unfortunately it seems as though overspending has become as much of a holiday tradition as holly and mistletoe – but is this really a necessity? There are some precautions you can take in order to stop yourself overspending at Christmas time, and today we’re going to give you some top tips on how to do exactly that.
Plan Your List in Advance
Instead of diving in at the deep end and immediately going shopping without any idea about what you’re buying for who, it’s always a good idea to have a list prepared in advance.
See the thing is, the less organised you are, the more likely you are to be panicking that you need cash fast at the last minute. This makes the your overall Christmas shopping trip not only cheaper, but easier and less stressful too. After all, the last thing any of us want at Christmas, is more stress!
Having a list is one of the most well known and recommended ways of spending less money when you shop. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing the annual festive haul, or are simply on your weekly food shop. Having a list, and therefore an aim and a plan of what you’re going for will stop you from buying unnecessarily. So long as you STICK TO IT – that’s the main thing.
Put a Budget in Place
We know, the words Christmas and budget just don’t seem to go together. But when you think about what budgeting actually consists of and saves you, there’s no reason why the two can’t happily co-exist.
Budgeting is very simply figuring out how much you can feasibly afford to spend on something, without struggling afterwards. It’s also looking at areas where you’re currently spending that you could possibly cut back on. These are often things like unused streaming subscriptions, and unnecessary coffee runs at work.
Once you’ve figured out your maximum budget, make a note of it and figure out how you’re going to subdivide it into sections in order to cover all of the Christmas costs you need to make. We’re talking dinner, decorations AND gifts.
Once you’ve figured out how much you’re going to spend on each individual thing, much like your list, STICK TO IT. It’s no good at all going to all of the effort to save the cash if you’re not going to see it through, so give it a try this year.
Want to go a step further in reducing Christmas overspending and stress? Why not try shopping online this year?
There are two reasons why shopping online will stop you from overspending:
- Because you’ll be less likely to see other things and pick them up, or to buy into tactical marketing ploys disguised as “special offers”.
- Because it’s actually cheaper to begin with. There are bargains online that you’d never be likely to find in store, so check them out!
Plus, you can sit and do your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your sofa, in front of the fire, with a brandy in hand. What’s more festive and less stressful than that?
Organise it With Family
Finally, have a chat with your family about cutting the costs.
It could be that you all agree to only buy for the children, or that if you’re hosting Christmas everybody will bring a dish or drink, so you don’t have to buy it all. The vast majority of people will be understanding, because they’re in exactly the same boat. Christmas is an expensive time for everybody, so take the pressure off not only yourself, but those around you too. The most important thing isn’t the money you spend, but the time you spend with loved ones – don’t forget that.