The holiday season comes once a year – but buyer’s remorse can last a lot longer if you neglect to keep your budget in check. It’s easy to be tempted by store displays or attractive prices on the things your family and friends may want. So commit to staying focused on the bigger financial picture to get through the season of gifting without giving in to unnecessary spending.
A recent survey published on the Certified Financial Planner (CFP™) Board’s site, Let’s Make A Plan at letsmakeaplan.org, revealed the results of a poll that shows that a large percentage of respondents actually planned to spend less in 2013 than last year on holiday gifts. More gifts will be purchased with cash versus credit cards while younger survey participants plan to save any monetary gifts or use the funds to pay down debt. It’s an encouraging report and one that should inspire you to follow suit!
Spending less may sound hard but you can give yourself an edge by sticking to a reasonable set budget, limiting the number of gifts you buy (large families can draw names to buy only one gift instead of many, for example), and checking ads online or waiting for sales before you shop.
Another finances-friendly gift option is one that comes from the heart. Baked items, a ‘coupon’ good for a few hours of babysitting or a month of errands for an elderly relative, or any number of similar efforts will be appreciated long after the holidays are over. And your budget will thank you too!
Servicemembers may particularly benefit from the additional tips offered by the National Military Family Association at blog.militaryfamily.org/2013/12/09/how-to-manage-spending-and-stress-during-the-holidays/.