Ever had the fear of overspending during the holidays? Nothing can bring more happiness — or a bigger headache — than the holiday season. While the fear can be scarier than Krampus, money doesn’t have to turn you into a Scrooge. When the harsh reality of January sets in, so do our credit card bills, leaving us wondering where all our money went.
Here are some of the best ways to combat (and recover from) financial overindulgence during the holiday season.
Set a clear budget
One of the best ways to combat the overspend gift giving urge is to make a list of exactly who you are shopping for and what you’d like to gift.
As for all the treats in the grocery aisle? Add one to three items to your grocery list leading up to the holiday but leave it at that. There are treats and treasures galore from the office to your in-law’s place, so keep the food to mostly basics.
Why? It’s not just because we watch our money fly out faster. A 2009 study said that shopping with cash subconsciously discourages us from spending, but the use of debit, credit or gift cards actually encourages us. So, head to the bank, take out your gift budget in cash and start shopping.
Kids especially benefit from secondhand 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.