Spending Less over the Holidays

No one ever wants to spend more money than less money.  It just isn’t smart.  And after you’ve spent the money that you barely have or don’t have at all, you feel that void in your pocket and guilt in your stomach.

With the holidays coming, you might think that overspending is inevitable.  With buying presents, decorations, new clothes for holiday parties, and everything else that the festive season calls for, you can easily blow your budget away and overspend drastically.

But here are ways to get around spending money that you shouldn’t be spending just because you get caught up in the spirit of the holidays.  You can still have a great holiday season while keeping the bulk of your money.

Set a limit.  The smartest thing you can do whenever you are spending anymore, any time of the year.  Giving yourself a limit forces you to track the amount you are spending and helps you make the hard decision to put the $200 jeans back where you found them.

Budgeting is a proven method of spending less.  The more aware of how much money you have and how much money you have to spend, the more inclined you are to not splurge and make those outrageous purchases you don’t need.  So keep a running total and take that full length mink coat out of your cart.

Make your list, check it twice.  Definitely do research before hitting the stores.  The more you have planned the fewer impulse buys you will buy.  Make a list of what you know you need and or want to buy.

But before you can do that, you have to make a few other lists first.  The first list you will make is a list of all of the events that you will be going to.  From there, make a list of everything that you need for these events: new clothes, wine, flowers, small presents, a dish to bring to the party, or whatever else you may need.  Once you have made your list, try to approximate how much everything would cost.

After you have done this, make a list of people you need to buy presents for, and start brainstorming what you might buy them.  This is not an easy task, for often times inspiration comes from online shopping or walking around in stores.  But if you can, try to figure out what you can get those people.

*Bonus tip: Better yet, set a per present spending limit.

And now you are ready to hit those crazy overcrowded stores.

Sale doesn’t mean good buy.  First of all, just because something is on sale doesn’t mean that it is cheap.  Sale does not mean inexpensive, it just means less than it used to be.  Sometimes sales can be great things; you can get something really nice and expensive at a much more reasonable price than it would be otherwise.  But unless you really like something, don’t bother getting it even if it’s on sale.  And sometimes it’s worth getting something unique and very high quality that you really like.

The point here is, don’t buy anything unless you truly love it.  And if it’s a gift, don’t bother buying it unless you are sure that they love it.

Start shopping early.  The earlier you begin holiday shopping, the more time you have to find great deals on things and find presents that people will actually like.  This way, you don’t have to buy the first thing that you buy or settle for something that you don’t really love.

The holiday season can be really fun and terrible for your wallet at the same time.  But with these few handy tips, you’ll be able to get exactly what you want without having to settle.

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