How to Avoid Holiday Overspending
A while back I was out to dinner with a few friends. While the kids were playing on the playground, we sat and chatted on the sidelines. At some point in our conversation, I decided to spice things up with a pinch of controversy. I crossed into the land of things you don't talk about if you want to keep your friends. "So has anyone else started listening to Christmas music?" The group was immediately split into what I call Buddys and Scrooges (you know, from the movie Elf and the book A Christmas Carol). We launched into the ongoing debate of celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving. Whether you're a Buddy or a Scrooge, you likely have one thing in common; you start your holiday shopping in November.
When it comes to shopping for the holidays, it's easy for emotions to take over. We spend with good intentions and often leave ourselves with a financial hangover come January. That's why it's important to get detailed with your Christmas spending (or any holiday). I recommend writing a holiday budget.
List out the people you plan on buying gifts for and set a budget for each person. Don't forget to include other expenses like decorations, travel, and roast beast. Softwares like EveryDollar are perfect for this. You can watch a tutorial on how we set up our Christmas budget by clicking here. If you don't use EveryDollar, you can accomplish the same thing with pen and paper or with cash envelopes.
Most people feel stuck in the paycheck to paycheck cycle. At Craig Dacy Financial Coaching, we help make managing your finances simple so you never worry about money again.