The holidays are an exciting time, characterized by family fun, delicious food, and overspending. As carefully as holiday shoppers plan their budgets, more than 77 percent expect to spend far more than they expected, according to a survey from Coinstar. Holiday financial stress can translate into the workplace. When employees are stressed about making ends meet this holiday season, it gets difficult to concentrate on daily tasks. Below are seven tips for making conscious spending decisions this holiday season:
Make a list (and check it twice)
Gift shopping without a list can be dangerous. Writing down everything you plan to purchase ahead of time will help you build a better budget and avoid overspending.
Save your points
If you have an abundance of grocery shopping loyalty points sitting in your account, spend them all on holiday shopping. If you’ve recently spent your points, make a mental note to save them throughout 2020 and cash in at the end of the year. This could save you hundreds, according to Forbes.
Approximately 57 percent of Americans spend almost $127 on gifts for themselves each holiday season, says the National Retail Federation. Consider waiting until January before making a purchase for yourself. This will allow you to re-evaluate your finances, advises the National Endowment for Financial Education (Many holiday sales continue throughout the month of January).
Split the cost of a gift
If one of your loved ones has an expensive gift on their list, consider talking with friends or family members about splitting the cost. Your loved one will be ecstatic to receive the gift and you will be even happier with how much you saved.
If this year is especially tight for your finances, there is always the option of using your unique skills to make a gift. Bake delicious treats to send to family or knit a cozy scarf, says the National Endowment for Financial Education. Homemade gifts are a creative way to make something special for everyone on your list while sticking to your budget.
Pay with cash
Try to purchase gifts with cash as much as possible. If you need to purchase something on credit, ensure you will be able to pay it off at the end of the month. If too much interest accrues, you’ll end up paying more for the gift than you intended.
Organize a Secret Santa
If your department has a tradition of giving each other gifts, consider organizing a Secret Santa gift exchange this year. Everyone will give and receive a gift while saving time and money.
You aren’t alone in your financial challenges this holiday season. This time of year poses financial challenges for everyone. By finding creative ways to stick to your budget and sharing these tips with friends, family, and coworkers, you are contributing to a financially-sound holiday season.