According to the National Retail Federation, holiday purchases this year are expected to exceed $678 billion dollars. This figure far surpasses any of the other seasonal spending that has already taken place. Merchants will be pulling out all of the stops to get their healthy shares of this revenue stream. And who can blame them!
So what can you do to prevent yourself from getting swept up in the holiday spending frenzy? To keep yourself from realizing only once it is over that you’ve loosened the purse strings so much that your waist deep in holiday overspending?
The answer is simple. The execution will take some focus.
You work backwards and put together a holiday spending budget. Yes, absolutely, it will take a some planning , figuring, and refiguring, but the financial results will totally be worth it. Here’s how.
First, let’s start with the total pot of money available to you. How much money do you realistically have to spend this year on gifts and entertainment (parties, eating out, special outfits, hostess gifts, and food for special holiday meals)?
This total should only include money that you have set aside or will be able to pay off within a month from when the purchase is made. In other words, purchases that you can pay for before you get interest and finance charges tacked on.
Once you figure out your total holiday spending allowance, then it’s time to break things down further. I have developed a free Christmas Gift List Printable for download. Once downloaded, simply print off, then fill in names of gift recipients and the amount to spend on each.
If it is easiest to figure out your entertainment budget first, and then allocate what’s left to spend on your Gift List Printable sheet, go for it. I recommend that you write your first holiday budget breakdown in pencil for easy erasing and refiguring where needed. You can put pen to paper for your final copy.
When you have your budgeted spending broken down between gifts and entertainment, grab powerful savings tools to get the most for your money. To help you do that I have put together a free video tour of 10 Great Sites and Apps to Save Money on Christmas Shopping. If you have already downloaded the Christmas Gift List Printable, you probably noticed that a link to the video comes along with it. If you have not already downloaded, you can do so by clicking on the image below.
By doing what it takes to give yourself a holiday spending roadmap and an armload of savings tools, you can steer clear of the holiday overspending trap.