Does the holiday leave you feeling that you overspent and have to start the New Year feeling blue? Here are some holiday tips to help keep you in track of your spending during this challenging time.
- Plan to spend approximately 1 to 3% of your take home income for the holidays. Spend less if you already have over 15% of your income committed to debt payments (for instance, $30,000 take home = $300 to $900; $50,000 take home = 500 to $1,500).
- Try using cash. Have a total set amount you want to spend for gifts. Put an amount in an envelope for each person you are buying for. If you overspend on a person, borrow from another envelope.
- Give a Gift Certificate of services to a loved one or friend. For instance, give a gift certificate for a free car wash or babysitting services or even a delightful three course meal for a loved one. Be creative.
- Shop Online. Today you can easily comparison shop for a big purchase item. Saves time and gas plus many companies offer free shipping. Avoid shopping last minute as increased shipping fees may apply.
- When buying at a retail store, check the store return policy. Ask questions such as, Will the store accept a return? Will the store refund the purchase price or is it exchange only? How much time does a person have to return an item after a purchase? Make sure all receipts are kept.
- Buy a household gift instead of buying each individual person living in the house a gift. For instance, an Instapot or airfryer make a great household gift that everyone can use. Another idea is to donate to a charity of choice that the family is particularly fond of.