Every holiday season we try to resist the temptation to overspend, but for those of us who are not successful, we have to deal with the post-holiday finance blues when the credit card bills arrive in January. 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us especially financially so this season it is important more than ever to stay within our budget. Here are some ideas that might help you to keep your spending in line.
1. Pause before you act - remember last year and how long it took you to pay off those credit cards? This year instead of splurging too much on gifts for your family and friends, consider making home made gifts, they are often more appreciated.
2. Set a budget and stick to it - according to the annual Holiday Spending Survey by the CPA only 39% of Canadians save all year for their holiday purchases. Maybe you should consider doing this for Christmas 2021 but in the meantime make a sensible budget for gifts and food and stay to it. Due to the pandemic it is expected that people will spend less in 2020 as they will not be going to parties and travelling, even so it will be easy to overspend on making your Christmas at home memorable.
3. Avoid credit at all costs - Most of us get a rude awakening in January when those credit card bills arrive especially those with high interest rates. Even though stores may be offering you a discount on purchases remember if you have to pay high interest rates on their credit cards that discount can quickly disappear if you do not pay off your bill in full.
4. Think about an app to track your spending - tracking your spending is essential to prevent going over your budget. Even if you have set a limit it is so easy to overspend on gifts and and all the frills for an enjoyable holiday.
5. Be creative and responsible - People you care about do not want you to go into debt to give them gifts. Instead overspending on gifts think about what you can do for them which may mean a whole lot more, such as babysitting, making them meals or treats, help with minor repairs or just spending time with them.
6. Give younger kids experiences not stuff - Instead of giving them lots of toys that they easily become bored with, how about signing them up for sports, or giving them event tickets to use when the pandemic is over?
7. Resist those Boxing Day sales - Shopping on Boxing Day is a bargain hunter's dream, but in reality many items can be found cheaper at other times of the year. You need to have amazing willpower not to impulse buy even online. This year most of us will not be going to the mall and the good thing about online purchasing is that you can do your research for the best price, and really think about whether or not you really need to buy the item at all.
From an article by Mathieu de Larjartre
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