Every year, the holiday season brings about a staggering amount of overspending. It’s inevitable that many people will blow their budget solely for gifts. The spending might seem innocent enough. However, for those who struggle with debt, that overspending can be costly, and can lead to even more debt.
If you’re worried that your debt will get out of hand this season, here are a few things you can do to ensure you’re able to shower your loved ones with gifts while also sticking to your budget.
1. Keep your debt in check
The holidays can get expensive quickly and those with poor spending habits can find themselves further in debt. If you know you’ll be spending a lot on gifts this season, make a plan for how you’ll stop your debt from getting out of control. Apply for a good balance transfer credit card to consolidate your current outstanding debt so that you’ll streamline paying it off and stop dealing with multiple interest rates. Many balance transfer cards will offer a 0% promotional APR, allowing you to put those interest payments towards your gift budget instead.
2. Choose “thoughtful” over “expensive” every time
If you’re feeling pressure to spend money on material purchases, realize that your loved ones would much prefer a gift that shows how much you care and not how much money you can spend. If you’re a fan of DIY projects, then you can create handmade gifts, but those who aren’t as creative can still benefit from prioritizing thoughtfulness over price tags. Look for ideas that show you’ve considered the individual you’re gifting such as customized gifts, gifts related to their favorite hobby, or little collectibles from their favorite tv show or movie.
3. Keep an eye out for discounts and coupons
The holidays are a cutthroat time of year for retailers and the competition for your dollars is heavy. Because of this, there’s no better time to find incredible deals on gifts, electronics, clothing, and many other spending categories. Shop around for the best deal or see if a store will price-match an offer you’ve seen elsewhere. Who knows, you might end up saving more money than you thought!
4. Ask your loved ones what they want
The easiest way to stick to your gift budget is by asking your gift recipients what they really want this year. Not only will you avoid spending money on something they won’t enjoy, but you’ll ensure you’ve spent your budget effectively and not thrown your hard-earned money away on something that might end up in the regifting pile.
5. Chip in on a group gift
Many siblings or family members will go in on a group gift for a loved one or the entire family. Group gifts can lower the overall amount you’d spend for an expensive gift you might’ve not been able to afford if you’d had to buy it alone.
6. Use credit card rewards and cashback offers
If you plan to use a credit card for your holiday purchases, look into what cashback offers or rewards are available. You might be able to get deep discounts that reduce your credit utilization or bonus miles that can go toward future vacations.
The bottom line
To have a stress-free holiday season, stick to buying presents for your loved ones and avoid trying to impress others by buying more than you can afford. Remember the spirit of the season and focus on spending time with the people you love and not how much money you’ve spent.