We’re all caught up in the season of giving and it’s easy to lose track of what you’ve purchased and how much it all costs.

But, with some easy planning, you can enjoy giving to loved ones and celebrate the holidays without getting yourself into too much debt.

Here are some tips that can help you have a great festive season on a budget.

Make a List.

 Make your list of all the things you need to purchase for the holiday. From gifts to lunch. Here’s a list of a few things people tend to spend money on during the holidays.

  • Gifts
  • Gift Wrap
  • Postage/Shipping
  • Christmas Cards
  • Meals
  • Baking/Dessert Supplies
  • Entertainment
  • Decorations/Christmas Tree
  • Travel Expenses
  • After holiday Shopping

Make a Budget and stick to it.

Have a number in mind. What is the maximum you want to use for your holiday including gifts for those “must buy for” people?

Write everything down and keep track of your receipts and spending.

Don’t go to shopping malls without a list.  Purchasing only what is on your shopping list will illuminate those unnecessary impulse buys. Always know which stores you are going to and do some research on specials on offer before heading out to do a shop.

Don’t ever shop when you are hungry!

Use Cash.

Once you have your budget set up and you know who you’ll be buying gifts for, and what amount you are going to spend its time to shop. Use cash when you shop. It helps you to stay on budget and when you run out of money, you’ll have to stop buying items.

Watch out for Retail Tricks.

Even if your budgets are firmly established, it’s still easy to overspend. One reason this happens is because retail stores are extremely good at getting us to part with our money.

Loyalty cards, retail credit, decoy pricing, Black Friday’s. These are all incentives that are created to get you to return to the store. Be on the look-out for these, especially during the holiday season.

Shop Online.

Online shopping is generally always cheaper and most have insanely prompt shipping times. Another plus is that you can review the product before buying.

Some additional shopping tips:

  • Shop in advance to avoid having to pay for faster shipping.
  • Keep a look out for specials.
  • Sign up on online stores as they generally offer discount vouchers.
  • Make a list before shopping and avoid being sucked into the wormhole.

Start Saving Early for  the Festive Season

Put together a small savings plan by putting away a little every month towards your holiday budget. Or maybe open a new savings account. If you find it hard to be diligent with saving regularly, set up an automatic withdrawal into your holiday account. If you start in January come October, you should have a nice amount put away for the festive season.

For further assistance on money management and how to get your debt under control, contact the experts at Meerkat today!