You don’t need to see the mistletoe, stringed-lights or big red bows to know the holidays have arrived. Your seasonal clock is fueled by eggnog, gingerbread, and sugar cookies. You can feel it feel it in your bones when the hustle and bustle of the season kick-off, but just because you know something doesn’t mean you’re always prepared.
Take your budget, for example. It might not be ready to take on the most expensive time of the year — yet. Only a few swipes of your thumb separate you from simple money-saving hacks. Below you’ll find some simple tips to keep your spending in check this year.
Be Honest with Your Family
Most people don’t want to face the truth when it comes to their budget. They would much rather sip their eggnog and continue watching It’s a Wonderful Life as if there was nothing wrong. But avoiding the issues doesn’t make it disappear. It just makes you less prepared for when you overspend.
Though it’s hard, you’ll want to talk with friends and family to explain things are tight this time of year. This can help you set expectations, so you aren’t forced into plans that put pressure on your budget.
Don’t forget to include your children in these discussions. Though they won’t need as many specifics as the adults, you should take the time to manage their expectations.
Seek Out Less Expensive Alternatives
Though you may not be able to spend with prejudice this year, you can still celebrate with cheer this year. Some popular alternatives include:
- Secret Santa: This is perfect for anyone with a large family. Rather than buying a present (or more!) for every family member, the Secret Santa method lets you choose just one person to spoil.
You won’t have to buy gifts for all 15 members of your family — just the person whose name you pulled from the hat! Even if you splurge on a few gifts for this person, you’ll end up saving.
- Exchanging homemade presents: In the past, Christmas didn’t come with bloated stockings and a mountain of gifts piled underneath the tree. Traditional celebrations involved modest gifts — often homemade crafts and foodstuffs that were household favourites.
If you’re handy with a hammer, whisk, or paintbrush, you can make your gifts this year. Even if you aren’t, you can use this guide as inspiration for creative gift ideas anyone can pull off.
Use a Budget
Between all the gifts, travelling, and entertaining, you’re going to rack up a lot of unusual expenses during the holidays. It’s important you review your budget to make sure you can meet your normal responsibilities on top of these extra expenses.
If you don’t, you could fall short on bills, housing costs, or other important expenses. Some homeowners end up relying on payday loans to make up what they don’t have. Companies like GoDay make it easy to secure payday loans in an emergency. That’s why these lenders make it so you can quickly get your payday loan without a lot of red tape. They aren’t, however, meant to help boost your shopping budget or justify buying expensive gifts.
The holidays can be a challenge for your budget, regardless of your plans. Luckily, you can accept this challenge with confidence this year. When you plan ahead, you’ll be able to keep track of your spending and make sure it stays within your limits. Talk with family about your needs and use a budget to control potential overindulgences this year. Together, these tips can keep you out of the red this new year.