Nothing can bring more happiness — or a bigger headache — than the holidays. Whether we’re travelling to visit family, shopping for the perfect present, or just trying to sort out a meal for our friends and family, the holidays can bring out the best and worst in just about everything. But when the harsh reality of January sets in, so do our bills, leaving many of us wondering where our money went.
While the fear of overspending during the holidays can be scarier than Krampus, money doesn’t have to turn you into a scrooge. Here are some of the best ways to combat (and recover from) financial overindulgence during the holidays.
Set a clear budget
Keep in mind that if you’re trying to save up, your budget will help you your financial goals faster even with holiday spending.
Kids especially benefit from second hand items like electronics, gaming systems, tablets, and smartphones. If you find your in-laws the perfect vintage tea set that matches their 1972 wedding registry dish set? You’ll be a hero.
And who knows? Maybe that thrifted gift is actually worth way more than you paid.
Make a list — and stick with it
Whether you jot your list down or download one of several free holiday gift list apps available, being able to plan and keep track of the things you’ve purchased will save you a headache come Blue Monday.
Say no to overindulgence
With the average Canadian spending nearly $1,500 on alcohol and smoking, slowing down on your holiday consumption could save you some serious coin, and bring you into the new year with a lighter step and a heavier wallet.
Start shopping early
Re-assess your financial situation
Make a repayment plan
Look for low-cost or free family activities over the holidays
If you’re dying to go to that beautiful market, check online for discounted or free entry days. Trying to keep your kids occupied? Skip the expensive play land and head to a community centre or YMCA to help them burn some steam. Go skating at a local outdoor rink, or even catch a community production of a holiday favourite like The Nutcracker.