Is it possible to survive the December festive season without overspending? The typical end year celebrations come with many expenses, as most people are looking to have a good time with their families and friends. Left unchecked, holiday spending may result in financial distress throughout the first few weeks of the new year.
If you are looking to enjoy your holidays but still avoid suffering through a long and dusty January, here are a few things to consider:
1. Set a Holiday budget (and stick to it)
If you go into this season without a budget, you will probably end up spending more than you are comfortable with. Avoid this by creating one and sticking with it. Write down a list of all the activities you want to do over the holidays and the items you need to buy. Find out their cost. Then, compare this to how much is available to spend and set aside the money for this purpose. Try as much as you can to stick to this budget. Limit any spontaneous, unplanned purchases.
2. Keep track of all spending
While creating a budget is crucial to manage your holiday spending, it is also important to track all actual expenditure. The true cost of items you spend money on may differ from what you have in your budget. Moreover, tracking spending will give you a good idea of how close you are to reaching the amount you had set aside for the festive season. This way, you will know when to put the brakes on your spending, instead of spending first then accounting later.
3. Pay for essentials for next year
Before spending a dime on the festivities, pay for all the essentials for the coming month. These include expenses like food, school fees and supplies, rent, and electricity. Then, you can allocate what is left to holiday spending. This will ensure that you don’t run out of money in mid-January, before all the important bills have been cleared, allowing you the peace of mind to enjoy yourself even more.
4. Get creative with gifts
Exchanging gifts is one of the long-held traditions of the festive season, but you don’t always have to sink large amounts of money on presents. Explore cheaper alternatives such as making the gifts yourself or regifting items you already have. If you must spend money, take advantage of the many deals that abound this time of year.
5. Look for holiday deals
In a bid to boost sales, many businesses offer special end year deals and discounts. Be on the lookout for them. Avoid shopping last minute as this is invariably more expensive since you will not have as much time to find good deals. On top of this, ensure that you compare the discount prices to normal ones to avoid items masquerading as deals when in reality, they cost the same.
In conclusion, enjoying your December festivities does not have to mean being broke for most of January next year. With some responsible spending, you will be able to have a good time and still preserve your financial health. Happy holidays!