Did you know that 98% of people spend more than they plan during the holidays? I made that number up but I’m right, trust me. The point is, I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of us spend more during the holiday season than any other time of year. And if you’re anything like me, that overspending was an upsetting realization on January 2nd when celebrations were over and it was time to get back into the daily grind. The first few months of every year I would hunker down, go out less, and count my pennies because I hate credit card debt so I’d pay off my holiday spending as quickly as possible. Well, last year a member of The Herd gave me the novel idea to make a budget and – here’s the real magical part of the suggestion – stick to it!
I’ve made holiday budgets before but they were always so unrealistic. I also never did any price comparing so I know I often bought presents for more than I needed to. Not to mention, I did a lot of online shopping so I paid my fair share of shipping costs as well. Sure, I send presents to people in other states so that’s a mailing cost I can’t avoid, but why was I buying presents for my poor husband online when I easily could have gone to the store and purchased it? So, with the help of The Herd we created a VERY basic budget plan and it was a major game changer for me last year. Basically I wrote out who I would be shopping for and what I’d be making. Then I priced out each item and went shopping. I also have a maximum amount of money that I spend on any one person. I mean, even my mother doesn’t need a $200 present from me.What are your holiday spending habits? @BookWheelBlair shares her saving tips. #healthyholidays2015 Click To Tweet
It was embarrassingly simple but having a plan and sticking to it kept me from wandering into stores and making impulse purchases every week. I’m not going to say that I never made any impulse purchases, but they were much fewer and far between. Also, I think a good argument could be made that a Bobblehead Turkey Tealight Holder is not an impulse buy but a practical decoration that will last for years to come.
So, there you have it, my absolutely-not-anything-impressive-but-totally-effective plan for not over-spending during the holidays.