Consumers are expected to increase their holiday spending by three to four percent this season, as reported by the National Retail Federation. This rise follows yearly increases of 3%, 13%, and 4% over the past three years, respectively.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, overspending seems more tempting than sticking to a budget. So, how can you avoid overspending? We have some tips.
1. Only Buy What You Can Afford: Don’t go into debt for Christmas. No one on your list wants you to go into debt over their heated socks. Spend only what you can afford.
2. Utilize Price Match Policies: Many retailers have price-match policies, making it easy to compare prices online. If you find the same item cheaper at another store, ask an associate if they price match.
3. Set Boundaries: You likely don’t need to buy for every person, dog, and cat on your Christmas list. Evaluate your list and consider if it’s essential to purchase a gift or if a nice handwritten note would suffice.
4. Use Cash Envelopes: Following one of Dave Ramsey’s key principles, using cash for holiday expenses limits the chance of going over budget. To make it even harder to overspend, put the cash in separate envelopes per gift recipient based on your budget.
5. Gift Experiences: Instead of buying a gift just because it’s on your list, think about something you and the recipient can do together. This not only adds a personal touch but may not require payment until you actually do the experience together.
6. Utilize Gift Cards: Gift cards allow recipients to choose their own gift and help you stay within budget. Visa Gift Cards, available at Deerwood Bank, are versatile and simple to use.
7. Buy Family Gifts Instead of Individual: Consider a family gift for your brother’s family instead of purchasing individual gifts. It’s likely to be enjoyed together, and you may end up spending less.
8. Don’t Compare Your Holidays to Others: Avoid comparing your celebrations to others, as it can steal your joy. In the age of social media, resist getting hung up on what gifts others are giving or receiving. Remember, people cherish the way you make them feel more than the gifts you give.
The holidays are an exciting time, but they can be stressful when spending gets out of hand. Focus on the true reason for celebrating this season: spending time with loved ones.
For practical gift ideas, visit any Deerwood Bank location for a MasterCard® Gift Card (available in any denomination up to $750) or start a Buckaroo Savings Account to set the kiddos in your life on a good financial path.
Happy Holidays from your friends at Deerwood Bank!