Don’t Overspend this Holiday Season

As you start to look around for the holiday shopping deals that you need, you are likely going to look around at what you’re going to do. Maybe you’re checking out sites like in order to see what you can get and how you may want to go about making it easier on yourself as time goes on. How can you know that you’re doing what works out the best? Can you find a way to prevent issues like overspending?

1.    Always use cash. Always use cash when making purchases for the holidays. If you have to go so far as to use the envelope system, then do it. There’s a lot of temptation to buy a lot of things because they are on sale or whatever. It’s a lot better to have money allocated and physically there for you to keep track of instead of just swiping your debit card everywhere. Granted, this doesn’t work if you do most of your shopping on the web, but you really can get a lot for your efforts if you’re out shopping around in the mall or other stores.

2.    Make a list, check it twice. Have that list ready! Make sure that you are ready to roll, possibly with exactly what you’re buying each person.  Or, go on a website like Amazon and make a wish list that you can budget accordingly. Either way, make sure you’re specific; we all have a tendency to overspend when we aren’t. So we want to have some plans in order to work out everything that we want to accomplish or get our hands on.

3.    Make a date. Instead of spending money, plan a get-together with a bunch of your friends or make a romantic dinner for you and your spouse or significant other. Everyone understands that the economy isn’t doing the best, and the quality time definitely speaks volumes to people at times. Find ways to look around and get creative with gift ideas and how you may want to go about making them a reality.

4.    Save ahead of time.  Most banks have a Christmas club account of some sort available. These allow you to save money throughout the year for your Christmas shopping. Some have a set amount you have to put in a month; others allow you do to do so at your discretion. Then, you cannot touch the account without a fee until October or November (depending on your bank’s policy), when it’s placed in a specified account (savings or checking). Then you can take it out and use it for Christmas shopping. It’s a great idea, considering we tend to overspend past our budgets at the end of the year.

So, don’t overspend and overstress this season. Follow these tips throughout the year and you can have a great holiday season, with less budget breaking and more fun and enjoying family and friends. You can find a lot of options that save you money and time and, in the long run, you’ll be ready to enjoy everything that comes your way.