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7 Tips for Controlling Your Spending This Holiday Season

Christmas is an incredibly exciting time. There’s so much to enjoy, and, unfortunately, it’s easy to get carried away. Christmas is a chance to spend time with our loved ones, enjoy festive treats and adventures, and treat our friends and family. But it’s also a time of the year that presents many opportunities to spend money. If you are on a budget and have been guilty of overspending in the past, here are some great tips to help you to control your spending, while still having a fantastic Spending This Holiday Season.

If you are on a budget and have been guilty of overspending in the past, here are some great tips to help you to control your spending, while still having a fantastic holiday season.

Write Lists – and Stick to Them

One of the biggest dangers when it comes to overspending over the holidays is that we forget what we’ve already bought, have no clear ideas of what we want to buy, or we don’t feel like we’ve bought enough. So, we buy more.

Writing clear lists of who you have to buy for, and what you plan to buy before you start shopping, makes it much easier to control your spending — as long as you are strict with yourself and stick to your lists.

Set Spending Limits

Before you start holiday shopping, sit down and prepare a budget. Think about how much you can afford to spend, and assign it to gifts, cards, food, activities, and anything else. Try to stick to this budget, but if you do go over in one area, commit to pulling it back somewhere else.

Never Pay the Full Price

At this time of the year, there’s a lot to buy, including gifts and cards, food and tickets for attractions and events. However, there are also plenty of offers, sales, and deals to encourage you to spend. This can be dangerous. Often, deals tempt us to buy things that we don’t really need, and sometimes, they aren’t really dealing at all, just the same prices dressed up in a new, more appealing way.

However, they also present an opportunity. Make it your mission to never buy anything at full price; instead take the time to look for online deals on food, travel and more, to find the best offers. But make sure you only buy things that you would have bought at full price, or it’s not really a saving, it’s an extra expense.

Make Homemade Gifts

One of the best ways to curb spending is to buy for fewer people or to buy people fewer gifts. But you might feel stingy if you cross people off your gift list. Instead, try making homemade gifts. Treats like truffles or gingerbread, and homemade Christmas decorations make great presents.

Make Arrangements with Friends and Family

If you are worried about upsetting people by not buying them a gift, having a chat beforehand is a great idea. Agree to only buy children and not adults, or to run a secret Santa instead of everyone buying gifts.

Another cost-effective plan is to agree to all contribute a small amount of money to booking a trip, meal, or event to enjoy over the holidays, so that you can enjoy time together instead of gifting.

Shop Second-Hand

Second-hand gifts are a great way to save money and help other people over the Spending This Holiday Season. Second-hand books, toys, and clothes are widely available and often in excellent condition.

DIY Festive Events

One of the largest expenses at this time of year, especially if you have children, is events and activities. Instead of paying to go to everything, enjoy baking days, craft days, and movie afternoons at home, and head out for lovely family walks.

It’s easy to overspend at this time of the year. The best way to avoid this is to be more mindful of your habits. Write lists, make plans, think carefully before you make any purchases, and never buy anything without looking to see if you could get it cheaper somewhere else.

This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you, should you purchase through one of my links. Please see my disclosure for more information.

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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the owner of TWL Working Moms. She is a full time teacher, a mom & step mom, and NBCT Facilitator. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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