It really is the most wonderful time of the year! But it’s not always the easiest season on your wallet. Between the holiday get-togethers, traveling to see friends and family, and ringing in the new year – the holiday season is super fun but can really put added stress on your finances. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “How do I avoid overspending this holiday season,” – we’ve got you covered!
1. Set a budget
Creating a holiday budget and sticking to it is key to not overspending during the holidays. Taking the time to calculate how much you can realistically spend is extremely important. Your budget should include travel costs, gifts for family and the kids, and food or other hosting gifts. If you plan to buy yourself a holiday gift, make sure you budget for that as well to avoid any surprises on your credit card bill. If you’re in need of a bit of help creating a budget, here’s exactly how to create a holiday budget.
2. Think homemade rather than store-bought
It’s time to tap into the creative energy you’ve saved up this year! Giving a personal, homemade gift is always a heart-warming way to spread holiday cheer on the cheap. There are tons of do-it-yourself gifts that are simple and fun to make. Crafts can make excellent gifts, like a personalized scrapbook. Potted plants with creative paintings on them are also cost-effective. Baking itself is cheap and is always appreciated.
Coupons are another great (and free) idea! Think along the lines of coupons for “one evening of babysitting” or “one cooked dinner.” The options are endless and it’s an easy way to tailor your gifts to your loved ones.
3. Think “one gift” games for get-togethers
Giving gifts to friends can get expensive and all those small gifts tend to add up. A way to avoid individual gifts at get-togethers is by playing “Secret Santa” or “White Elephant,” so you’re only responsible for buying a single gift.
While these games can get a little competitive, it’s always a fun and inexpensive time.
4. Limit self-gifting
Make a list of gifts to buy and seriously, stick to it. This is when that holiday budget comes into play! Being prepared helps you to not overspend, especially on yourself. In recent years, retailers have adopted a message about rewarding yourself, which is important. But what’s more important is buying yourself something you really want or need, as opposed to getting carried away and buying something that only brings joy at that moment.
5. Ensure you have a good credit card
Credit cards are a great way to access credit, but should not be used to borrow against. If you have trouble staying within your limits with a credit card, then stick with debit or cash. If you don’t make your credit card payments on time in full, you’ll be charged interest on the balance. Interest usually sits around 19-29% percent on fancy rewards cards. If you do find yourself caught in expensive credit card debt, a low-interest personal loan from Borrowell could help you save money and get out of debt sooner.
But if you feel confident with credit cards, you can reap the benefits by using a rewards or cash-back card for your holiday shopping. Check your free credit score with Borrowell and see the best credit cards available to you.
6. Monitor your credit score and report
Be sure to track and monitor your credit score and credit report during the holidays. This is a time when many Canadians are using their credit cards more and are spending more. It’s a vulnerable time and you may not notice extra charges on your credit card statement. Along with checking your bank statements, be sure to monitor your credit score and report with Borrowell. You can easily see if there are any inquiries on your credit report that you didn’t authorize.
We hope we answered your questions about how to avoid overspending this holiday season! From all of us at Borrowell, have a happy and safe holiday.
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