It’s that time of year again: the holidays are here! The holiday season is often a time of joy, but it can also be a time when you find yourself struggling with budgeting and controlling your expenses. From gift-giving to travel expenses, managing your budget during the holidays can be overwhelming and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be!
As a busy healthcare professional, you may feel you’re obliged to splurge on holiday gifts, spoil your loved ones with expensive gifts, and have your living room packed with presents. While that may sound exciting, unfortunately, most of us don’t have unlimited resources, not to mention the debt that can come with overspending. That’s why controlling and managing your expenses during the holiday season is important.
Here are 7 surefire ways to control your expenses during the holiday season and help you avoid going broke after it’s over:
1. Make a list
Always make sure to make a list. Either create a list of every person to whom you’re sending a gift or a list of items that you plan to buy and their associated costs. Having a list will help you track your expenses and control your spending.
Additionally, break down your list into categories and prioritize them. This way you’ll be able to budget the most important purchases first while leaving some room for a few extra items if necessary.
2. Make a budget – and stick to it!
Make sure to set a reasonable budget before you start holiday shopping. Decide how much money you can afford to spend, and don’t be tempted to go beyond that limit.
Also, try to stick as closely as possible to your budget by keeping receipts for everything you buy and tracking your spending. This will help you stay on top of how much money you are actually spending. Also, you can use apps or computer programs to help you track your spending. A little spreadsheet tracker won’t hurt.
3. Shop for deals
Shopping for deals is a must during the holiday season. Try to find coupons and sales that will help you control your expenses. You can also use gift cards or cash back programs to get special discounts on items.
Today, you’ll never run out of great deals online, especially since most stores are offering sales and discounts during the holidays. Make sure to take note of the gifts you’ll be buying during the holidays so you can plan ahead and get the best deal — or even, wait for flash deals.
4. Shop early
Another way to control your holiday expenses is to shop early. Try to avoid last-minute shopping, as you may end up buying items that are more expensive than you expected or not getting them at all because they’re sold out.
Planning ahead will also help you avoid getting caught up in the holiday rush and making purchases that you’ll regret later on.
5. Or Shop late
Another useful hack is to actually shop later after the holidays and take advantage of the after-holiday deals. It’s common for stores to offer deep discounts on items after the holiday season, so you may be able to find some great deals.
Also, if you have some extra time, you can even search for items that are returned after the holidays and get a great deal on them. The only downside here is that you won’t be able to send out gifts in time for the holidays, but the greater benefits is you avoid ridiculously expensive prices during holidays.
This is very much useful if you’re booking for travel tickets or accommodation — plus, it’s a little less crowded after the holidays.
6. DIY your gifts
Gift-giving doesn’t have to be expensive. If your skills permit it, make something for the people you love. DIY gifts are always more meaningful and cheaper than store-bought items.
This is also a great way for you to control your holiday expenses and make something unique for a special someone.
Check out these DIY homemade Christmas gifts we saw here.
7. Give the gift of experience
Instead of buying material items, why not give the gift of experience instead? This is a great way to control your spending but still provide a memorable and meaningful gift to family and friends.
You can look into tickets to concerts, shows or museums; gift cards for restaurants; or classes at local gyms and yoga studios. A little less gift-wrapping, but it sure does provide your loved ones with loads of fun.
Remember, Don’t go overboard
Finally, the best way to control holiday spending is not to overspend. Even if you are tempted by the holiday sales and discounts, try to stay within your budget.
Remember, the holidays are about spending time with family and friends — it’s not about buying expensive gifts for everyone. Don’t let your expenses control you; control your expenses with these tips.
With a little bit of control and understanding, you can still enjoy yourself during the holiday season without breaking your budget or getting into debt. So go ahead and have fun this holiday season — just make sure to control your spending. Happy holidays!
By following these 7 tips, you’ll be able to control your holiday expenses and still have a great time. So, don’t forget to start planning ahead of time and take advantage of the sales and discounts available during this season.
Have fun and happy holidays!