‘Tis the season for spending: Staying on budget during the holidays
by Coast Capital Savings
There’s no question that the months between October and December come with a lot of expenses and obligations. From decorating the house, to playing secret Santa, to shopping for gifts, the expenses add up quickly.
If you spend your waking hours worrying about breaking the bank, it can be difficult to enjoy the holidays. Here are three tips to help you stay on budget, enjoy the season, and avoid that holiday spending hangover as you head into the New Year.
Make a list and check it twice
- Gifts big or small can add up quickly and leave you with a hefty bill at the end of the season. Before you head to the mall, sit down and plan out your holiday list. You can then build a realistic budget.
- Thinking about what you want to buy for each person will help you avoid expensive impulse buys.
- If you don’t have enough to cover all the gifts on your list, go through the list again and make those hard choices about how to match your list to your budget.
- You’ve got your list in hand and you’re ready to tackle the crowds. There are a few more ways you can save on shopping, whether you’re buying online or in-store:
- Take advantage of free shipping specials with online purchases
- Buy gifts throughout the year, not just during the holiday season
- Look out for special sales at your favourite stores
- Keep an eye out for coupons
Meaningful gifts don’t always have a big price tag
- Have a big family? Consider coming up with a secret Santa gift giving strategy or pull names from a hat. That way you only have to buy for a few select people.
- Feel like getting creative? Consider crafting something, or baking a batch of cookies as a gift.
- Know a friend who could use a night off of parenting? Offer a free night of babysitting. Like cooking? Invite a family member over for a homemade dinner. Think about creating memories instead of giving stuff.
The bottom line, you don’t have to go into debt to enjoy the holiday season. By planning ahead, being a savvy shopper and getting creative, you can avoid heading into the New Year with a large stack of bills, and start fresh.
Youth Get It with Coast Capital Savings’ promise to build a richer future for youth in our communities. Coast Capital is a regular contributor to InTouch e-news. The Surrey-based credit union is a longtime partner and supporter of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s work to provide young people with vital educational and career skills to become successful leaders and contributors to society.