Written By: Style and Fashion Contributor, Coco Michelle
There’s nothing better than giving gifts to love ones during the Christmas season. The excited giggles and bear hugs are priceless—almost. Most of us have experienced the remorse of spending more money than we could truly afford. And, it’s not a good feeling. Especially when the bills are coming in long after the Christmas joy is a distant memory.
The question is – do we have to overspend to enjoy the holidays? Certainly not! It’s totally possible to spend within your means and have a joyous Christmas season. Every year, I implement a few simple tactics that keep me within my holiday spending budget and help me enter the New Year without one cent of holiday debt.
Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to keep my holiday spending on track:
Save, Then Shop
Start by taking a cue from our grandmother’s generation and open a holiday savings account. Some consider a Christmas club account to be a little old-fashioned. But back in the day, our grandmothers knew how to make ends meet without maxing out credit cards. Imagine if you saved $50 a month for 12 months. That’s $600 for holiday spending!
Develop your defensive spending game plan and create a holiday budget spreadsheet. You can get snazzy and create an Excel spreadsheet or just pull out some notebook paper. The purpose of doing this is to see what you plan to buy and how much you expect to pay for each item. If you find that your “want to buy” column exceeds your “cash in hand” column, you can start strategically cutting out the things you can live without. For example, instead of spending $50 on a gift for 1 friend, maybe you could spend that same $50 on ingredients to bake beautiful cupcakes for 10 friends. Let’s face it, everyone loves cupcakes!
Don’t Shop On Credit
And last but not least, step away from the plastic and take your credits cards out of your pocketbook! Be brave and just do it. You’ll love yourself in January!
Happy holiday spending!