When Christmas is over, a lot of us are left with a big bill to pay in the New Year. It can be hard to avoid using credit to pay for the holidays, but if you save money before the holidays, it will make January less painful.
Speak To Your Family And Friends
People overspend during the holidays because they want to please their loved ones and give their kids the best Christmas they can.
After figuring out how much you can spend on gifts, tell the people you want to give gifts to how much you plan to spend.
This could be a big deal. Three-quarters of people say they are comfortable talking about the total cost of gifts with their partner, but only a third say they are comfortable talking with their mom, friends, siblings, or children, and only a quarter say they are comfortable talking with their dad.
It might help to think about how hard Christmas will be for many people. If you spend too much on gifts for people you care about, they might feel like they have to do the same for you, even if they can't.
You might feel anxious about having a hard conversation about money, and you might forget the important things you wanted to say.
For example, if dad has been eyeing up the best selection of Drew Estate cigars, could you group together to buy them for him?
Set A Budget
The average Christmas budget for a family is about $350 per person. This includes things like food, gifts, travel, and decorations.
To start your budget, create a list of family and friends whose gifts you want to buy and give each person a certain amount.
Think about how many people will be coming to dinner and how much you will need to splurge on food and drinks.
You should then be able to figure out how much money you need to save each month.
New Christmas Traditions
Start some new family Christmas traditions that everyone can enjoy and save money at the same time.
When you buy things like stocking stuffers and decorations on sale, you can save a lot of money, sometimes as much as 50%.
If you know what gifts you need to buy, buying one thing a month can help spread out the cost and keep you from having to shop when everyone else does. You could also send Christmas cards by email to save money on postage.
You can make your own cards with family photos and videos on a lot of free websites. A cleanout with the family before Christmas will help you get ready for the holidays and could even put some money back in your pocket. You can make some extra money by selling things you no longer want online or at a local sale.
When the time is right, there will be a lot of people looking for used gifts.